TURKISH MEZE BEANS

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On one of my first trips to Turkey my sister’s nanny fixed a salad of flat beans with a light tomato, olive oil and lemon dressing, along with various meze dishes for dinner, all served room temperature. The original Turkish recipe uses more olive oil, but I have adapted the recipe to lighten it up, along with a few updates.

Romano beans are showing up more often in the green market and last week I even saw some yellow and purple ones. Look for beans that are a bright green color, firm and snap easily, avoid any limp ones.  Romano beans are fleshy, sturdy and almost impossible to overcook.

I love the silky sauce produced as the beans cook down in the olive oil and tomatoes. My summer fridge is always equipped with salads I can eat through the week, al freso. I especially love this paired with fried chicken and a cucumber salad, for an impromptu picnic.

Turkish Meze Beans

1 lb. romano beans, washed, trimmed, long ones cut to 3 inch pieces
1 medium size tomato, peeled seeded and coarsely chopped
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 small cloves garlic, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon ground cumin

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Sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until translucent, add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and cumin and cook for 5 minutes. Add broad beans toss in sauce and add 1/2 cup water. Cover the beans with parchment paper and put a lid on the pan, this will keep the beans submerged in the liquid as they cook. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn the heat off, take off cover and parchment and let beans come to room temperature. Add juice from half a lemon, adjust seasonings and serve room temperature or refrigerate, beans will keep for at least 5 days.

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