My grandmother-in-law lived in Istanbul, along with grandfather-in-law, and when we’d visit she would often serve a side dish of fresh green beans, tomato, potato, and onion with some spices. The freshness of the vegetables made their flavors intense. Which is one reason I treasure having an every-other-day farmers market in season.
I’ve had similar dishes fairly common in Mediterranean restaurants but there was something about just picked and just brought to town and just cooked by Grandma that made the memory almost as comforting as the dish itself.
Except for the parsley, which I picked out back, and the lemon, fresh vegetables from our local farmers market gave me nearly all I needed. Some dried oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, a bay leaf, and a little olive oil are all I needed. As I chopped, I confess, I couldn’t help but nibble on pieces of the garlic. It had both a sweetness and peppery finish to-die-for. Just perfect.
I only used half of the onion but otherwise the rest was simple enough knife work.
A little olive oil and a bit of salt in a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the onion for a few minutes to soften. Then, everything else into the pan, cover, and cook for about fifteen minutes. Check the tenderness of your beans and tomato every few minutes with a fork. If you let this get mushy, it’s not nearly as good. The goal is to remove the raw without removing the texture.
A drizzle of lemon juice at the end to add a little brightness and serve.
Green Beans with Tomato, Potato, and Onion
Market-fresh green beans, potato, tomato, and onions cooked until just tender and spiced liberally is a simple, affordable, and delicious side dish to any meal. Visit suppertimeblues.com to learn more.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound green beans, snapped to about 1-1/2 inch pieces
- 1 tomato, large, diced or two smaller like I did
- 1 potato, large, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Cook the onion in the olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes.
Add the tomato, potato, garlic, and spices.
Cover and cook for about fifteen minutes. Check often enough they don't overcook and get mushy.
Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Discard the bay leaf.
Drizzle with a bit of fresh lemon juice and serve.
I usually plan out most of my menus based on what I find at the market and in the store. This is less of a recipe and more of a technique that you can use with a variety of vegetables. I love using other spices sometimes as well — Aleppo pepper, for example.
Best served warm, or at room temperature, or even ten minutes out of the refrigerator.