Mediterranean Style Green Beans Recipe – Deliciously tender green beans cooked with onions, tomatoes, and garlic and drizzled with yogurt dressing.
Today I come to you with a true Mediterranean-style dish. If I were to translate from its original Turkish name, it would be Green Beans made with Olive Oil. Even though I thought about naming it that way, for some reason it sounded more relatable when I called it the Mediterranean-Style Green Beans.
I think the best way to interpret this dish to American cuisine would be to call it a cold green bean salad. With that being said, you can eat it warm or cold. It is totally a personal preference.
So what makes this dish Mediterranean?
I am sure there is a scientific or historical answer to this question if you were to ask it to a culinary historian. But for someone like me, who spent all her childhood years in a Mediterranean country, this dish is the epitome of how we ate during the hot and long summer days of Turkey.
If you have been around that part of the world, you would know that during the summer months it gets so hot that most people prefer not to eat dishes that are served warm. Instead, they prefer lighter, refreshing dishes that can also be served cold.
And I bet you money, during this time of the year if you were to randomly pick a house in the Mediterranean region and look into their fridge, you would find a version of this dish.
HOW TO MAKE MEDITERRANEAN GREEN BEANS
The process of making this Mediterranean Green Bean Recipe has 2 parts.
First, you sautee onions in a little bit of olive oil. Then add in all the other ingredients, put the lid on, and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for 25-30 minutes until green beans are cooked but still tender.
Second, while the beans are cooking prepare the yogurt sauce. The recipe you see for the yogurt dressing you see below is a take on my Greek Yogurt Salad Recipe. To make it, place everything in a bowl and give it a whisk. It is that simple.
I highly recommend that you do not skip the yogurt sauce on top to truly experience the Mediterranean- Style way of eating this green bean dish.
THE SECRET INGREDIENT
The secret ingredient in this green bean salad, which- in my opinion- is the reason why it tastes so good, is sugar. A couple of teaspoons of sugar you add at the beginning bring out the sweetness of the vegetable while masking the tanginess that you would experience if you were to not add sugar.
The best part about the technique used in this cold green bean salad is that you can use it to make a similar dish with other vegetables like zucchinis, celery roots, leeks, etc. that are in abundance during the summer months.
A good example of this is this One-Pot Winter Root Vegetables recipe. It uses the same technique of putting all vegetables in a big pot and letting it simmer low and slow.
OTHER MEDITERRANEAN STYLE DISHES YOU MIGHT LIKE
- Recipe for Turkish Meatballs
- Meatball Potato Casserole
- Mediterranean Hummus
- Spinach Borek
- How to Prepare Turkish Coffee
- Tahini Yogurt Dressing
- Spring Orzo Salad
- Mediterranean Lemon Chicken
- Chickpea Za’atar Salad
Mediterranean-Style Green Beans
For the Green Beans:
- 2 pounds green beans
- 2 + 1 medium sized onion divided
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 14 ounces can tomatoes diced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3-4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup drinking water
- a couple of sprigs of fresh dill
For the Yogurt Sauce:
- 3 cloves of garlic pressed through a garlic press or minced finely
- 1 cup plain whole milk or 2% yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ¾ teaspoons salt
- Trim both ends of green beans by cutting them ¼- ½ inches. Rinse under running water, drain, and set aside.
- Finely chop 2 of the onions. Peel the other one and leave it as a whole.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven (or any heavy bottom pan) in medium heat.
- Add in the onion, and stirring occasionally, cook until translucent, 5-6 minutes.
- Stir in the paste, diced tomatoes, salt, black pepper, sugar, and water.
- Add in the green beans. Give it a gentle stir making sure everything is homogenously distributed in the pan.
- Place the reserved one onion on the top and put the lid on. Let it come to a boil and turn down to heat to medium-low and cook until the beans are tender, 35-45 minutes. Make sure to give it a gentle stir a couple of times during the cooking process.
- To make the yogurt sauce: Whisk everything in a bowl, taste for seasoning, and add if necessary.
- To serve: Place the green beans on a plate and top it off with yogurt sauce and some fresh dill.