19 June 2010

Turkish Green Beans

I have a glut of green beans this time of year, and as a result I am freezing, pickling, and trying to come up with as many recipes as I can to enjoy the fresh ones without getting sick of the same old thing. I grew up eating green beans that were boiled until they turned khaki in a pot with a whole onion (it disintegrated) and a big hunk of bacon (it added flavor but turned to rubber in the process). Strange waste of food.

One of my favorite things to do is simple and can serve as a side dish or, poured over pasta or rice, makes a hearty meal. It’s actually loosely based on a Turkish friend’s reminiscence of her mother’s green beans, a favorite way to get through Foundation of Folklore at IU (thanks, Lena).

Turkish Green Beans

1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed, and cut into bite-size pieces
1 – 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, or 3 large fresh tomatoes, diced, with juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large bunch fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried (1 tsp. herbes de provence works nicely, too)
Olive oil, salt, and black pepper to taste
2 oz. feta cheese, optional

Steam green beans in a medium saucepan with a steamer basket until they are crisp-tender and a bright green color. Drain and replace to pot. Add tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and salt; stir and heat on medium-low until tomatoes are warm and start to release liquid, about 5 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with black pepper. Crumble feta cheese over the top if desired.