Middle Eastern Spiced Green Beans with Olive Oil and Tomato (Loubieh bil Zayt)
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Cook time: 
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Yield: 4 to 6 servings
 
Middle Eastern Spiced Green Beans with Olive Oil and Tomato (Loubieh bil Zayt) is a dish that’s simple to make, but complex in flavor. This dish is heady with aromatic spices, onion, and garlic, and the green beans take on a nutty flavor after being toasted in olive oil.
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 lb (450 g) green beans, stem ends trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch (2.5-5 cm) pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed in a mortar and pestle with ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 lb (450 g) tomatoes (about 3 medium), diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup (125 ml) water
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large lidded skillet over medium heat; add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the green beans and sauté until they start to take on a little color, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, cinnamon, allspice, black pepper, and nutmeg, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and water and bring up to a boil. Cover the skillet, turn the heat down to simmer, and cook until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the beans are tender, uncover the skillet, turn the heat up to moderately-high, and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Notes
Recipe is from my cookbook, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair (Tuttle Publishing; 2012).

For the Meat Lovers: This dish is also wonderful with the addition of beef or lamb stew meat that’s been cooked until melt-in-your-mouth-tender.
Recipe by An Edible Mosaic™ at http://www.anediblemosaic.com/middle-eastern-spiced-green-beans-with-olive-oil-and-tomato-loubieh-bil-zayt/