Braised Haricots Verts in Tomato with Carrot & Onion
1-1/4 lbs (500 gr) French green beans
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1½ cups crushed tomatoes with their juice
2 cloves garlic, lightly mashed and peeled
Juice of 1 small lemon
1/4 of a medium onion, minced
1 tablespoon grated carrot, in fine strands
1-2 tablespoons butter (optional)
Unrefined salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Makes 4-6 servings
Rinse the beans and trim the stems and tips, cutting on the diagonal. If using regular green beans, French cut them: trim as above and slice in half lengthwise along the seam.
Choose a shallow casserole or heavy, non-reactive sauté pan wide enough to hold the beans in a shallow layer. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes & juice, salt to taste, lemon juice and garlic. Cook without stirring over medium high heat. Once the sauce is bubbling, add the beans and turn them over to coat thoroughly. Αdjust the flame for a lively simmer. As the sauce reduces, add water in small quantities, blending it in each time and gently shaking the pan to coat the beans. Continue this way until the beans are very tender, reducing the flame gradually as the sauce reduces, and adding only enough water as needed to keep the sauce from sticking, not to make it thin.
Meanwhile, sauté the minced onion in a small pan with a tablespoon each of oil and sweet butter. (The butter is optional and should be skipped if you’re serving meat to guests who keep kosher. It’s fine with fish). When wilted and translucent, stir the onion and grated carrot evenly into the beans, plus a few grindings of black pepper.
The beans are done when they are very limp and have no “squeak” when you bite into one, which is unpleasant. (If they go limp but still squeak, stir in another tablespoon of oil or butter). Total cooking time may take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on quantity and the freshness of the beans). The sauce should be fairly thick and slightly oily. Correct seasonings, let rest and serve.
Fasuliya tastes best eaten at room temperature.