Middle-Eastern Slow Cooked Green Beans Recipe on Food52

Slow Cook

Middle-Eastern Slow Cooked Green Beans

July 16, 2012
3 Ratings
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

  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 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
In This Recipe
Directions
  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.

  • Kim Kasabian
    Kim Kasabian
  • babswool
    babswool
  • carrieberryo
    carrieberryo
  • AntoniaJames
    AntoniaJames
  • aargersi
    aargersi
Father, husband, writer, photojournalist and not always in that order.

    18 Reviews

    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.
     
    Nancy 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?
     
    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) kalustyans.com 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.
     
    Author Comment
    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?
     
    Author Comment
    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 ...