As summer passes and the holiday season nears, it’s not too early to think about your holiday meals and favorite side dishes. Here’s a recipe for a Mediterranean-inspired green bean salad that, once prepared, you can serve hot or cold.
Greek-Inspired Braised Green Beans
Wine-braised green beans are in that special class of dishes that taste just as good, if not better, on the second day. The long, slow-cooking process is the key to bringing out the home-style Greek inspiration of this side dish, so pick your beans at dusk and braise them in the cool of the day, when the sun goes down. They end up soft, but not squishy, and firm, but not al dente.
- 1 ½ pounds (fresh-picked and washed green beans)
- 1 yellow onion (chopped (Walla Walla sweets are a great choice))
- 4 cloves of fresh garlic (chopped)
- 3 Roma tomatoes or one large Big Boy or Beefsteak variety
- olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine (your choice)
- 1 flat tsp. cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh lemon wedges and lemon zest
- Rinse the green beans and chop the onion and garlic. Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a heavy-lidded pan and sauté the onion and garlic gently over medium heat for about five minutes, or until they are soft. Add the lemon zest and tomatoes and cook for another five minutes.
- Add the green beans and wine. Add a little water if needed. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a slow simmer and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the beans are tender. Stir in the cinnamon, and season with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.
- Sprinkle a little crumbled feta cheese on top just before serving, for a distinctly Greek flavor.
- Add 1/3 cup of slivered almonds for a surprising burst of flavor and texture.
Swaps: Substitute some of the white onions with tender green onions from the garden, for a slightly different flavor.
Editor’s Note: photo courtesy NikChick – Creative Commons