I first ate this delicious green bean and tomato stew when I was working in Greece on my gap year. This is a homely dish that Greek families cook all the time so when my friend Gylda gifted me a generous bag of fresh runners from her garden, I knew exactly what I was going to cook with them. If we can’t go to the Med whilst the pandemic is raging, we can at least bring a little taste of the Med here! We’re so used to cooking vegetables al dente these days that it will probably seem odd to cook them for as long as I’m suggesting but, trust me, allowing them to go soft and khaki coloured is how they develop their flavour in this dish. Serve yourself a bowlful topped with feta cheese with some crusty bread for lunch or as part of a mezze family supper.
- 600g runner beans, trimmed and sliced
- 6 tablespoons of light olive oil, 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin.
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
- 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of tomato purée
- A teaspoon each of salt and ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft.
- Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato purée, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the runner beans and enough water to cover them. Bring them almost to boiling point and then turn the heat right down to a simmer, cover and stew the beans for 45 minutes.
- Remove the lid and cook, uncovered, for another 20 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Allow the beans to cool and then stir in the extra-virgin oil. Don’t be afraid of adding the additional oil, it’s what gives it its rich and authentically Greek flavour.
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