Today I’m sharing Stewed Green Beans in Olive Oil, or Loubieh bi Zeit.
What I love about Syrian food is its celebration of vegetables. Traditionally, most of the population was villagers and farmers, and their cooking traditions live on. Syrians eat whatever grows out of the ground in that moment of time, whether it be greens, vegetables or wild-grown weeds. Cubes of meat are usually added for main courses, while appetizers or mezze are kept vegetarian. This can easily be a meal on its own and eaten next to a grain or piece of bread for a nice, plant-based treat.
Stewed Green Beans in Olive Oil is a perfect side dish in the summer when the vegetable is in season. I never understood the snappy green beans you find in French restaurants, delicately blanched and placed ever so gently on the plate. Loubieh bi Zeit is nothing like that. The green beans are braised into submission with sweet caramelized onions and lots of garlic. A tomato is added at the end for additional flavor. The result is juicy, tasty and perfect to sop up with some pita.
It’s a really simple dish with only 7 ingredients. The green beans do need a few hours on the stove, but you can easily speed that up with the use of a pressure cooker, or use a slow cooker.
I hope you give this recipe a try! If you do, don’t forget to put it in the comments and tag @omayah.atassi and #omayahcooks on Instagram! I love to see your creations!
Loubieh bi Zeit
A lovely side dish of green beans, caramelized onions, garlic and tomatoes. Eat with pita bread for lunch or next to a grain for a plant-based meal.
Serves: About 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 c olive oil
500 g (1 lb) green beans, ends snapped off and cut in half
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 small tomato, chopped
1/4 tsp sugar
- In a medium Dutch oven or heavy-bottom pot, add the oil and onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onions become lightly caramelized, about 15-20 minutes.
- Add the green beans, garlic and salt. Reduce to low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until green beans are soft, about 2.5 hours.
- Add the chopped tomato. Cover and cook until tomato softens, about 30 minutes.
- If green beans have too much liquid, uncover and increase the heat to high. Stir frequently and let the liquid reduce. Add sugar and adjust salt.
- Serve at room temperature if serving as a side dish. Serve warm if eating with rice. Can be made up to 2 days ahead.