Slow Cooker

Middle-Eastern Slow Cooked Green Beans

July 16, 2012
5 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I don’t know when it came to be that chefs and cooks decided that your veggies needed to be cooked al dente. While I know they retain more of their vitamins when cooked a minimal amount I also know it’s not like the vitamins just vaporize into thin air but instead I am pretty sure, and take note I am not a scientist, that they wind up in the cooking broth.
Either way and no matter how you slice it I like veggies that can stand up to multiple cooking methods giving me choices as how best to enjoy them. I like green beans blanched then sautéed al dente but then I also like them long cooked. That doesn’t mean I want mush because I want something that still has character and a bite.
So after cooking green beans and eating green beans pretty much all my life with potatoes or onions, and even bacon and onions I was looking for a change. This last summer I found a wonderful recipe for okra that was stewed and I liked the recipe so much I made it two or three times.
The other night I was thinking how good that recipe would be with green beans and, actually, even easier and less time consuming then the okra. The original recipe is from the New York Times’ Recipes for Health by Martha Rose Shulman just in case you have any interest in the original okra recipe which I will make again this summer. —thirschfeld

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, clipped and cleaned
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 14 ounces can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  1. Place a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and once it is hot add the onions. Season the onions with a pinch of salt and some pepper. Sweat the onions until they begin to soften trying not to brown them.
  2. Add the garlic and once it becomes fragrant add the allspice and sugar. Then add the beans and stir them to coat with the oil.
  3. Now add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Cook on medium until you hear the pot sizzling then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for an hour remembering to stir about every twenty minutes. They may take longer the an hour but not much.
  4. Taste, adjust the salt and pepper and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Bevi
  • AntoniaJames
  • Kim Kasabian
    Kim Kasabian
  • babswool
  • carrieberryo

21 Reviews

Bevi September 15, 2023
This is a great recipe. I used another half teaspoon of pomegranate molasses and I also defrosted some of my own frozen crushed tomatoes for the sauce. These are delicious served either warmed or at room temp. There is a magic moment when the beans surrender to the heated sauce and wilt and become compliant with all the other ingredients. Wait for it.
AntoniaJames September 11, 2023
Excellent recipe! What a great way to use the big, somewhat tough string beans available in the stores. ;o)
Kim K. February 1, 2021
Very similar to the Armenian dish fassoulia. I loved this version, which with the allspice, reminds me of some Greek dishes I've had. Pomegranate molasses is found at Middle Eastern stores. The brand Indo European makes a decent version. Note: pomegranate molasses is different than pomegranate syrup. It's much thicker and has a different flavor. I wouldn't substitute with it. Find the molasses.
babswool May 15, 2020
Made these green beans tonight and really liked them but I will say that they did not look the same as the photo in the recipe. The tomatoes did not break down into a sauce . I cut the recipe in half for just my husband and myself and did not have any pomegranate molasses but otherwise followed the recipe as written. I wonder why my "sauce" was still just diced tomatoes.
Anonymous November 25, 2020
Try using whole canned tomatoes next time, and crush them in your hand or slightly in a food processor. For some reason, “diced” tomatoes stay more piecy than whole tomatoes, crushed in your hand.
Liz March 8, 2020
This is a fantastic, 10-yr-old approved recipe! I’m always looking for healthy veg options that the whole family can eat - this is a superb example! Would also be great with gigantes, limas, or LAMB!
pratchford July 19, 2014
This was SO GOOD! used both yellow and green beans. Had this over rice for dinner--perfection.
Tarragon March 18, 2014
Is it possible that the sugar stand in for the pomegranate molasses - so that we don't need both?
susan G. September 14, 2023
Pomegranate molasses isn't what it sounds like if you think it 'similar to the sugar derivative. I've tried many different brands (ethnic stores) and they vary, anywhere from an ingredient list that may include a few unsavory ingredients to my favorite, one that is made only from pomegranate juice. The taste should be sweet with acidic notes.
I have read that you can take a 100% pomegranate juice and reduce it to having a coat- the-spoon thickness. I haven't tried that.

J D. August 6, 2013
Just about any middle eastern food store should have it, Whole Foods maybe, or Kalustyan's in NYC (I think they do mail order) OR Maybe Food52 has it in their Provisions shop?
kim C. August 6, 2013
where do i get pomegranate molasses?
J D. June 24, 2013
Gotta give this a try. Very similar to "fasolakia" here in Greece. These regional similarities and variations on dishes are always so interesting. The Greek version is sort of the same method but with only green beans, grated tomato, onion, beans,parsley, sometime carrot, sometimes garlic and olive oil - and chunks of potato towards the end. I don't have pomegranate syrup so readily available even with Turkey just next door, but might try it with petimezi as a sub (a syrup made of grape must) Thanks for this interesting recipe!
jslade June 19, 2013
My maternal Grandmother was from Damascus Syria. This is a dish she would make but would also add ground lamb to the dish. She would serve it over rice with sauteed broken pieces of vermicelli in butter. It was absolutely delicious. Thank you for bringing me back a piece of my childhood.
thirschfeld June 19, 2013
OMG, that sounds so, so good. I am going to definitely try that!
Donna L. July 1, 2013
I made this dish for dinner tonight. Yumm!! I took jslade cue and added lamb meatballs. Will definitely make again!!
carrieberryo April 21, 2013
The recipe's instructions say to add sugar, but the list of ingredients doesn't list sugar. How much is needed?
thirschfeld April 21, 2013
Not much, a scant teaspoon.
AntoniaJames September 27, 2012
This is such a great recipe -- I've made it several times, including with organic frozen string beans last winter -- but found that 1 teaspoon of allspice was more than was necessary. I love the spice, but the last few times I have used 1/2 teaspoon instead, which (I thought) tasted better. ;o)
bodeswell August 9, 2012
No listing for sugar either...
aliciad July 22, 2012
This is actually a great way to prepare okra, too!
aargersi July 17, 2012
There are no green beans listed in the ingredients - but I get the idea and they sound great! ps I make your burnt okra from last year often ...