Mediterranean Braised Green Beans

I’d love to launch full-steam-ahead into Fall.  I really would.  It’s hands-down, my favorite season.  But I think I need to wait a few more days, at least until Oct. 1, to allow myself to bask in the glory of cold nights, chilly mornings, and crisp days.  Yesterday was a bit humid and a whole lot of grey, and looking at the forecast for the next few days, I’m seeing clouds, possible thunderstorms, and 70%+ humidity.  That’s no way to usher in the Fall season.

So for one more week, I’ll hold off on making that new Cook’s Illustrated Pumpkin Bread (will one of my most requested deserts, Choc. Chip Pumpkin bread, be bested by this newbie?) and tinting Homemade Oreos orange.  Instead, I’ll tell you about these delightful green beans.

They’re a perfect way to transition from Summer to Fall.  Taking advantage of the last of the local green bean crops, this recipe uses a decidedly Fall cooking technique to transform the beans into a wonderfully softened, and deeply flavored side dish.

(no slow cooker needed, that was for the chicken :P)

I love when I get to use my faux Dutch oven.  It feels like Fall :)

I’m not a big fan of green beans (not really reflected by the fact that one of the few vegetable dishes I’ve blogged about is a green bean salad), but the braising really works some magic on their texture.  And as always, CI works magic on the flavor profile.

Mediterranean Braised Green Beans – Cook’s Illustrated,  September & October 2012 (Issue 118)

  • 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 lbs. green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-3″ lengths
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained, juice reserved, chopped coarse
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • red wine vinegar

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat to 275. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3-5 min. Add garlic and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 sec. Add water, baking soda, and green beans and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 min. Stir in tomato paste, tomatoes and their juice, salt and pepper.

Cover pot, transfer to oven, and cook until sauce is slightly thickened and green beans can be easily cut with side of fork, 40 to 50 min. Stir in parsley and season with vinegar to taste. Drizzle with remaining 2 tbsp. of oil and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves – 4-6

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3 thoughts on “Mediterranean Braised Green Beans

  1. To me, and I’m sure many others< green beans are not something which makes one's mouth water. However, your photos and ingredient choices make them look down-right tasty. I'm sure the braising does create a whole new flavor and texture experience.

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