Stewed (yes, stewed) Green Beans

by Sava

After months of being here together, my sister and I have completed everything we can complete in our book and Georgia has taken back to Vermont with her a flash drive with the cookbook/travel journal on it to a small publishing house. We will keep you posted on when you can order it! We have gone through it so many times making corrections and changes that we can practically recite it with our eyes closed now. We had to make the difficult decision to not have color pictures in it because it increased the printing price so enormously that no one would be able to afford to buy it. So for now, we will have to be satisfied with the text being enough to carry you through our adventures in Greece and the descriptions of the recipes making your mouths water. Once it comes out, I will be posting photos on this blog for some of the recipes we have included in it. I will continue to post recipes here, some from the book, others from family favorites, and perhaps excerpts from our travels.

This is one of  my favorite vegetable dishes. I even like to eat it leftover and cold!! I must make one thing clear, however. Note the word “stewed”. This means the beans are NOT crisp, and if you can only eat your beans crisp this is not for you. If you decide to make this and turn off the fire while they are still crisp this will not be the same dish. The flavors will not have melded into that deep tomatoey saucey flavor and you will have crisp green beans sitting in diced tomatoes and onions…just sayin’!  We Greeks like to stew our vegetables!! Of course there are times we make dishes with crisp vegetables, but those are not Greek recipes!

Now that summer approaches, you will certainly be able to get fresh green beans for this dish. As for fresh tomatoes, although you can certainly use them, I prefer to save those for savoring that out-of-the-garden taste in a lovely Greek salad or with mozzarella, basil and olive oil (the Italian favorite, insalata caprese). I love that pure tomato flavor. I must say, even though we grow our own tomatoes, nothing compares with the tomatoes in Greece! The flavor is indescribable. Don’t let that stop you, however. We do have “good enough” tomatoes here, as well. Now for the recipe:

1/4 c olive oil                                                                               1 T dried, crushed oregano

2 medium onions chopped                                                     1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes (plain or flavored)

1 garlic clove chopped                                                             salt & pepper to taste

2 lbs string beans, tipped and cut in half                          1 c feta cheese, crumbled

Wash, trim and cut beans in half. Heat olive oil in a large pot and saute onions until translucent. Add garlic, salt, pepper and stir. Add beans and tomatoes and stir with wooden spoon for a few minutes until well mixed. Cover pot and simmer on low for one hour until beans are soft and tender. Check halfway through. You may add a little water or broth if necessary. Serve hot or at room temperature with crumbled feta over the top. (This is also delicious if you add a few quartered potatoes with the beans and a half cup of water. Simmer until potatoes are cooked thoroughly.)

Enjoy this recipe and be prepared to join us on our journey through Greece.

See you next time!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy June 6, 2012 at 8:56 am

Hi Elizabeth! Could I use my blanched-then-frozen beans in this recipe? I’d like to use them up before this year’s crop is in.

Sava June 6, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Hi Cindy, Yes! Absolutely. You are going to stew them so they will be perfect in this dish!! In fact, if you make a really big pot of them you can freeze some of them after you have eaten all you want for the time being! Put them in containers that hold just enough for the two of you. Then take them out when you need a side dish! Try the crumbled-feta-on-top trick, too.

When your new crop of green beans starts coming out, trim “a bunch”, put them in a bowl and toss with olive oil and salt. Spread them on a cookie sheet and roast them in the oven at 350 until tender and enjoy. These are yummy!

Hope we will see you on the bluff in a few months!! Not sure yet! Thanks for stopping by! E xx

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