This Braised Green Beans recipe promises a delightful fusion of textures and flavors – from the crispness of green beans to the burst of sweetness from cherry tomatoes, all immersed in a rich and aromatic braise.
Braised green beans with tomatoes and garlic is a classic dish in any Middle Eastern country. This dish is very traditional. However, my version is made with no lamb! As I write this, I am reminded of the scene in my Big Fat Greek Wedding where they say, “What do you mean, no meat!” The meatless part of this didn’t go well with my husband either, as he loves lamb! But eventually, he came around and loved this version just as much. This dish is similar to the bamia with lamb recipe, except you replace the okra with the green beans.
Braised Green Beans: Ingredients
- Green Beans: Washed, trimmed, and cut into one-inch pieces, green beans take center stage, offering a crisp and vibrant texture to the dish.
- Cherry Tomatoes: Bursting with freshness, a pound of cherry tomatoes (or 2 cans of diced tomatoes) infuses a juicy and sweet element, balancing the earthiness of the green beans.
- Onion: Large onions, chopped to perfection, add a savory and aromatic foundation, creating depth and complexity in the braising process.
- Garlic: Sliced and minced garlic cloves lend a pungent and robust flavor. The combination of sliced and minced garlic ensures a nuanced garlic experience throughout.
- Olive Oil: A quarter-cup of olive oil provides a luxurious and smooth base, enveloping the green beans in richness as they braise to perfection.
- Spice Blend: A harmonious blend of cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili flakes, black pepper, and salt brings a symphony of flavors. Cumin and coriander provide warmth, turmeric adds earthy notes, chili flakes bring a touch of heat, while black pepper and salt elevate the overall seasoning.
How to Prepare Green Beans?
There are many different ways to prepare, but this is my favorite since it takes less time. To prepare the green beans, called fasolia khadra in Arabic, you must wash them, trim the top and bottom tips, and cut them into smaller pieces. The pieces should be about one inch in length. There is no need to blanch the green beans for this recipe, as we will slow-cook them with the tomatoes until tender.
- Garlic and Onion Intensity: This recipe embraces the robust flavors of garlic and onion. Sliced garlic (eight cloves) accompanies the onion at the beginning, while minced garlic (another eight cloves) joins at the end to preserve that aromatic garlic essence.
- Tomato Choices: Fresh cherry tomatoes, straight from the garden, bring a burst of sweetness. However, canned tomatoes make an excellent substitute if you lack cherry tomatoes. Adjust quantities accordingly. Before introducing the tomatoes to the mix, a gentle smash with a potato masher releases their juices, enriching the braising liquid with the essence of fresh tomatoes.
- Water Control: I added only one cup of water to control the consistency and the sauce. Adjust the water content based on your preference – make it saucier or use chicken/lamb broth for added richness. A touch of tomato paste ensures the tomato flavor remains vibrant if more liquid is added.
How to Serve Braised Green Beans:
Elevate your dining experience by pairing these flavorful Braised Green Beans with the perfect accompaniment. While serving over rice vermicelli is the first choice, venture into other enticing options like Greek Lemon or Yemeni rice for a delightful twist. This versatile dish, bursting with vegan/vegetarian goodness, is an ideal main course for a satisfying weeknight dinner. Alternatively, it makes a superb side dish, seamlessly complementing the richness of roasted chicken, lamb, or fish. Let your culinary creativity shine as you explore the diverse pairing possibilities for this delectable green bean creation!
I would love to hear your experience!
Delight in the culinary journey of Braised Green Beans! Share your experience and let me know how you served this dish. Leave a comment below with your favorite pairing or any personal twists you added to make it uniquely yours!