I got back last week from a week away on holiday. A quick visit to the allotment on Friday evening and I came home with vast numbers of runner beans – a whole carrier bag full. Now don’t get me wrong, I love runner beans, but they are hardly the most versatile of beans. Slice them, boil them, then serve as they are or with a little garlic and butter. I tend not to grow many as the occasional and seemingly unavoidable stringy one that gets caught in the back of the throat or between my molars puts me off whatever I am eating. Then I thought back to my holiday in Turkey a few years ago and the long afternoons spent at a lovely family run restaurant in Gumusluk. This Turkish green bean dish is usually made from the long flat beans available from Turkish and Middle Eastern stores, but works just great with runners too. It sounds simple and boring but give it a go – it’ll make you say “Wow!”
400g prepared runner beans or french beans
2 small onions – finely chopped – or you can finely slice them into half rings if you prefer
3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 ripe tomatoes – quartered (if you don’t have fresh tomatoes use about half a tin of chopped
Bring a pan of water to the boil then add the beans and boil for about 5-10 minutes until tender. Drain.
Take a large frying pan and heat the oil. Add the garlic and onion and fry gently until soft. Then add the beans, tomatoes and some salt to taste. Cover and cook slowly for 30-40 minutes until everything is tender and the tomatoes have fallen apart.
Serve hot or at room temperature with breads.