Tender braised flat beans simmered in a luscious tomato sauce and studded with salty olives — a side dish everyone will enjoy!
Have you ever cooked with flat beans before? They are new to me!
Flat beans weren’t something I encountered very often back in Oregon. String beans, on the other hand, were abundant in summer and a staple at Thanksgiving dinner.
I saw some flat beans in the market here in Jura right after I arrived, and decided I wanted to give them a try.
I love oven-roasted green beans, but I’d never tried braising beans until just recently.
Flat beans are perfect for braising because they hold their shape and become wonderfully tender. You will know they are finished when they have lost their “squeak.”
You can make this recipe with round green beans, but if you find some flat beans be sure to scoop them up!
I think I’ve made this recipe six or seven times since I moved to France three months ago. I just can’t get enough of it!
Tender beans coated in a luscious tomato sauce, studded with salty olives, served on top of a smear of whipped goat cheese — what’s not to love?
I originally thought to stir some chunks of feta right into the pan, but if I did that I’d be on my own eating a whole pan of beans.
See, my darling man hates cheese (yes, the Frenchman hates cheese!). I decided to use briny green olives to up the umami factor in this dish. It’s a wonderful addition, but you could use chunky feta instead if that’s acceptable in your household.
I happen to love sheep and goat cheese, so when I serve these braised flat beans I first spread some creamy goat cheese onto my plate. The olive oil seeps out of the sauce and onto the cheese, just begging to be scooped up with a piece of baguette.
This dish is best served at room temperature. The beans benefit from a gentle resting period, and the flavors are at their best this way!
I usually prepare this early in the day, then let it hang out in the pan until it’s time for dinner. The leftovers are even better after a night in the fridge and an hour on the counter.
These braised flat beans are lovely as a side dish, but they also make a great addition to a tapas spread. Enjoy, my friends!
Here’s Your Recipe!
Yields 6 servings
Tender beans simmered in a luscious tomato sauce and studded with salty olives -- a side dish everyone will enjoy!
10 minPrep Time
60 minCook Time
1 hr, 10 Total Time
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced vertically
- 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 pound flat beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
- 2/3 cup halved green olives (about 10 olives), such as castelvetrano
- Salt and pepper
- Feta or goat cheese for serving (optional)
- Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet (for which you have a lid) over medium high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onions and season generously with salt. Fry the onions until they are turning golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic and canned tomatoes. Fill the empty tomato can halfway up with water and add it to the pan. Stir well, then add the flat beans to the pan. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir the balsamic vinegar into the sauce. Continue cooking, partially covered, for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the beans are very tender and have lost their squeak.
- Fold the olives into the mixture along with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Taste, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Rest the dish until it has cooled to room temperature. Serve with crusty baguette and goat cheese, if desired.
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