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greek style braised green beans

this recipe first appeared over at betsy's house in early june, when green beans were ripe, but tomoatoes were not.  she introduced me to this dish, which she had found in Greek Cooking by Lou Sierbert Pappas.  the pleasant introduction is a window into greek life and quickly inspires one to head for the kitchen.  the recipes are like an ode to the gardens bounty, where simple preparation allows the individual flavors to shine.  this recipe is a spin off of Fassoulakia Yahni, or 'braised green beans'.  when green beans first ripen in the late spring, before tomatoes come on, try this with last years sun-dried tomatoes and then in the early autumn try it again with the last of the green beans and the peak of fresh tomatoes.  its a favorite around our place, particularly served room temperature the next day with good bread and good friends.

1/2 cup onion or a bunch of green onions, chopped
3 Tbl olive oil
2 large handfuls (3/4 lbs) green beans
2 tomatoes peeled, chopped or 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes re-hydrated in 1/2 cup hot water
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley, minced
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

prep the green beans by removing the stem tip and slicing in half lengthwise.  if you have a neat green bean tool, pull them through to slice.

saute onions in olive oil on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes just until they start to soften and release.  add the tomatoes (or re-hydrated tomatoes w/ the liquid) and green beans and cover with a lid.  simmer for 10 minutes, then add garlic, salt and pepper to taste and stir well.  cover again and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.  this is not an al dente recipe, you want the green beans to soften and the liquid of the tomatoes and oil to thicken, if you are losing too much of the liquid in cooking add a little water or squeeze some fresh tomato juice in. 

turn off the heat and finish by adding the parsley and mixing well.  transfer to a serving dish or let it rest till room temperature.  this is a great picnic or mezze dish as it translates best after sitting for a while.

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