Greek Green Beans

The Epicurean wants to hold on to summer. He's cooking traditional Greek green beans.

Ingredients for 4

  • 1kg green beans, cleaned and cut in half
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 750gr ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 75ml olive oil

Holding on to the final weeks of summer, I’m cooking all my favourite summertime dishes. One dish is reminiscent not only of good weather and long days, but also of my childhood: Greek green beans, cooked slowly in olive oil and tomatoes. They become tender and sweet and, served at room temperature, they are the perfect light supper for a hot day.

Heat the olive oil

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion along with a teaspoon of salt. Cook for 5 minutes until soft but not browned and then add the garlic slices. When the garlic is fragrant a few seconds later, add the tomatoes.

Stir for a minute and add the green beans along with a small cup of water.

Mix everything well, cover the pot and let the beans cook over medium/low heat for approximately 45-60 minutes until they are tender and there is some sauce at the bottom of the pot (if the sauce is drying up during cooking, add some more water).

Ahead of time

I like cooking this ahead of time so that it can cool down before eating. I really think the flavours resonate better when it’s served this way – it’s the perfect foil to a hot evening. The beans are best served with a thick slice of Greek feta cheese, a bowl of Greek yoghurt, and toasted country bread to sop up the juices. A warm sunset is also recommended.

Anastasios Sarampalis is a lecturer at the Psychology Department.