In Turkish cuisine there are many cold side dishes prepared with olive oil, which are mostly vegetarian. This specific one is with fresh green beans. There are various methods to prepare this dish.
This recipe is to be prepared with a pressure cooker. I strongly suggest that you invest in a pressure cooker. Your investment will really pay off in time and cost. Mine is 30 years old, and still good as new. Besides it saves so much time. But if you happen not to have one yet, you can use the same recipe, but you will need to cook longer and add twice as much as water.
To start with let me give some tips about the type of beans to be used. In Turkish markets there are generally two types of beans; aysekadin/French beans and cali/string beans.
- aysekadin/French beans are for making beans with meat. They have a thinner skin and the seeds are quite large and make the beans look like they have bubbles in them. They also cook quicker than the other types of green beans (the one on the top) .
- cali/string beans are more flat and wide and tend to be longer than the French beans. These are more suitable for cold bean dishes (the one on the bottom).
Enough with all this, lets move on to the recipe. Assuming that you have been lucky to find the right type of beans; wash and cut off and discard the stems on both sides and also cut vertically all the way. If the beans are too long and it might be difficult to eat them you keep them like that, also cut horizontally into halves.
Use olive oil, grate an onion for a kilo of string beans. Stir the onions until cooked, add a minced garlic and cook. Add and cook two peeled and grated tomatoes until mashed. Then add the string beans and make sure you stir the beans patiently until they change color. Finally add desert spoon of salt and sugar, 1/4 glass of water if the tomatoes are not watery enough and close the lid. Cook until the beans are cooked.
Do not pour the beans to a serving plate before it is cooled. Keep the lid covered until then too. Just to make sure the color doesn’t change. Keep in the fridge. Serve cold. This dish tends to get better the next day. Goes perfectly well as a side dish with almost any thing. Will be a nice company to a plain pilaf as well.
Afiyet olsun (may this dish bring you health).