Simple tasty braised green beans

If I had to choose a vegetable dish as my favourite, it would undoubtedly be braised Greek style green beans with carrots and eggplant.

This is a dish I grew up on that my mum used to make with home-grown green beans and sweet ripe tomatoes from our garden. It’s a simple dish with complex flavours and a sweetness that satisfies my taste buds.

The secret of this dish is cooking it slowly on a low heat, as this brings out the flavours and sweetness of the ingredients. If you decide to try it, I’d love to know what you think 🙂

The beauty of this dish is that you can add other vegetables such as potatoes, zucchini, pumpkin or even tinned chickpeas for a more substantial meal. I often add roasted eggplant, because I love the creaminess and rich flavour the eggplant adds to the dish.

What you need

  • ½ kg green beans
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 medium eggplant (optional)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 450g tinned tomatoes – chopped
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
  • 2 TBLS chopped continental parsley

What to do

Trim the ends of the beans, rinse in cold water and drain well

Peel and cut the onion in half, then slice into 1cm slices.

Peel and chop the carrots into 2cm pieces

Heat oil in a pot

Add the onion and cook on low heat for 5-8 minutes until onion softens and becomes transparent. Cooking onion on a low heat brings out a lovely sweetness.

Add the beans, carrots and tomatoes – stir through

Add 500ml of water and bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a medium/low heat for 40 minutes or until the beans are soft and liquid has reduced to a sauce consistency.

If adding eggplant, prepare it while the beans are cooking:

Heat oven to 200c. Wash and cut the eggplant in quarters length-wise, then cut each piece into quarters

Place eggplant on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and toss to coat. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

Add the roasted eggplant to the beans and gently stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and add finely chopped parsley and stir through.

Serve with crusty bread.

TIP: If you want to add root vegetables like potatoes or pumpkin, add them chopped at the start of the cooking process with the beans and carrots. Soft vegetables like zucchini should be added halfway through cooking and pre-cooked chickpeas, 10 minutes before the end of cooking.