Monday, June 23, 2008

Lebanese green beans with tomato and onion

This email I recently sent to my sisters is the perfect introduction to this recipe. Their names have been changed to protect the non-blogging innocent… oh and ‘Big Girls’ refers to the fact that they are older than me, not larger (they are actually rather svelte).

Dear Big Girls
Here’s a recipe I’m using in my new Michael Pollon-esque quest to ‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants’ but also try and reduce my whale-like physique after our recent family eatquest in Singapore. While I’m glad I managed to sample all of the plethora of dishes that make up the Singapore foodscape, the Agnes B shop assistant’s suggestion I go up from size 2 to 3 (that’s medium to large to you) filled me with such horror (never!) that I have been forced to take up the calorific reduction programme so diplomatically suggested to me by our mother.
This dish is one that I know is much loved by Sister no. 2 as we have have ordered it many times in Lebanese restaurants around the world and, Sister no. 1 we may have had a heavenly version at Abla’s recently? I like to eat the dish with a small portion of white fish fillet with a tahini and lemon juice sauce.
Let me know what you think of this dish. It takes a while to cook, so not great for those quick after-work dinners. I took a lot of the oil out of the original recipe for calorific sake and cooked it in a non-stick pan - feel free if you want to add a little more oil for extra flavour.
I hope all’s well and, Sister no 1, that Little Imp has stopped singing that song over and over and over again.
Sister no.3 xx

200g green beans
1 clove garlic, crushed or whole
1/2 cup onions, chopped or slivered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 x 450g tin tomatoes
pinch sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
chopped parsley, to serve

Top and tail beans. Heat oil, add garlic and onions and cook until light brown around the edges. Stir in beans and fry for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and salt. Simmer partially covered for an hour, until sauce is thick and beans tender. Serve at room temperature sprinkled with chopped parsley.

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