I needed a vegetable accompaniment and for this I went straight to Whispers from a Lebanese Kitchen by Nouha Taouk. Nouha’s family are Australians of Lebanese origin who live in Dulwich Hill, Sydney. The book is a record of Nouha’s family recipes. I chose this book because it is full of vegetarian options and I found exactly what I needed.
The recipe called for a kilogram of beans. As I only wanted it as a side dish for 6, I decided to halve the recipe but I will give the full amount as Nouha suggests it is ideal served as a main dish with rice or egg noodles.
- 1kg green beans
- 6 garlic cloves (This is a bit strange; 3 cloves are sliced and the other 3 are left whole. I don’t know why.)
- olive oil
- 2 brown onions, chopped
- 1 long red chilli, seeded and chopped
- 3 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and diced (or tinned tomatoes)
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- Trim the beans.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and cook the onion until it is golden.
- Add the chopped garlic (3 cloves) and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the beans, salt and chilli and cook, without stirring, for 5 minutes. (The recipe doesn’t say why we need to do this but I did anyway.)
- After the 5 minutes, stir to combine the beans and the onion and add up to ½ cup of water.
- Cover with lid, reduce to a low heat and simmer for 50 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, the whole garlic cloves and cumin and cook for a further 10 minutes.
The garlic was rather confusing as you end up with large cloves in the final dish. I followed the recipe so three of my guests got a pleasant (or unpleasant) surprise.