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Green Beans with Onions (Loubieh Bziet)

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Serves six to eight.

  • Make the menu:
    A Middle Eastern Buffet
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 10

This recipe also works well with okra, spinach, escarole, and chard. Fresh or canned tomatoes may also be added.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 large onions, cut in half and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 2 lb. green beans, ends trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. When it's hot, add the onions. Sauté for a few minutes, until the onions turn translucent. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn a rich caramel color, 20 to 25 minutes.

Rinse the beans in a colander; you want just a small amount of water to cling to them. Add the beans to the onions, stir, and cover the pan. Keep the heat low and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. These beans are not served al dente; they should dull in color and become limp. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot or at room temperature.

Photo: Alan Richardson

I've served this side dish with everything from crispy baked fish to pheasant in wine sauce to pork tenderloin. It's always a huge hit. When I recently served it to a party of 30, I had more requests for this recipe than for the main dish. I added one small gilding: crispy fried leek rings as a garnish topping.

These were a big hit since we prefer southern style green beans. The sweetness of the onions paired well with the flavor of the fully cooked beans. I followed the recipe as written and served them with spicy fried chicken, au gratin potatoes, and spoonbread.

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