Mediterranean olive oil-braised green beans

Green beans straight from my balcony, a pool of olive oil and feta cheese. That's late summer in a crunchy mouthful

Published September 14, 2010 1:01AM (EDT)

I live in an apartment in the middle of the city, but I am lucky enough to have a balcony where I like to grow beans, one of my favorite vegetables. I've been nurturing my beans all summer, being rewarded by a bean or two a day, until now, in September, when I'm finally getting a nice harvest, nice enough to think of cooking up a favorite bean dish of mine, Greek/Turkish-style with onions, tomatoes, parsley and olive oil.

From mid-July to now, I eat my fresh green beans raw for breakfast. I am growing three popular varieties -- scarlet runners, Kentucky wonder and broad beans. I also have a Chinese variety that never grew into the foot-long bean that I was hoping for.

Green beans can be quite sweet when picked and eaten immediately. I enjoy the fact that I get to eat something dynamically fresh that is non-irradiated and has been watered with TLC twice a day.

Mediterranean olive oil-braised green beans

Serves two


  • 1 pound of green beans (own-grown obviously best), cleaned
  • 1 medium white onion cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium tomato (own-grown would be a real treat), roughly chopped
  • 1 handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 whole mildly hot green chili, chopped
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • ¼ cup of water (plus a quarter if necessary)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • feta cheese, for serving (optional, but very nice)


  1. Heat olive oil with salt and pepper on medium heat in a saucepan large enough to hold all the ingredients. Add onions and cook, stirring, until soft and transparent. Add green beans and chili pepper and sauté for two minutes, until heated through. Add tomato and parsley and sauté everything for two minutes until well integrated. Add water, season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and let the beans simmer until tender, stirring once in a while and adding another quarter-cup of water if sauce reduces too much (it should be nice and juicy but not soupy).
  3. Serve with some feta cheese and drizzle additional olive oil if you're Greek or Turkish and like your food shiny.


By Algis Kemezys

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