Zeytinyağlı yeşil fasulye (green beans in olive oil) was one of the first Turkish dishes I ever attempted - for the basic fact that we had bought a Turkish cookery book whilst on holiday in Fethiye, gone back to England, and this looked about the easiest dish I could attempt. If I made a mess of it, green beans are not expensive so it didn't matter too much. Anyway, we've been enjoying this dish ever since.
A Turkish Recipe For Zeytinyağlı Yeşil Fasulye
Zeytinyağlı dishes (containing lots of olive oil) are very common in Turkish cuisine (the barbunya pilaki recipe is an olive oil dish too) and whenever we go to a restaurant, we always order at least one in our meze choices because they're so yummy. Whenever we make our own though, we can't bring ourselves to use so much oil. This dish has tomato in it too so when I make it, I use a bit less oil and a bit more tomato.
All the ingredients frying in the pan
- Cut the ends from half a kilo of green beans and cut them in half. (I used the very thin beans but if you're using the fatter ones, cut some of them in half lengthways, down the middle, too.)
- Heat a couple of tablespoonfuls of olive oil in a large frying pan, chop two onions and start to fry them gently in the hot oil. (If you want to really go for it and do it properly, use 5 or 6 tablespoons of oil.)
- Deseed 2 green bell peppers (one is enough if you're using the dark green capsicum peppers for sale in the UK), chop into big pieces and add these to your onions.
- Fry gently for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, chop a big Turkish tomato (just short of a tin of chopped tomatoes or a full tin if you're going the lesser-olive oil route) and add that to the pan.
- Now add your beans, a couple of teaspoons of sugar, a finely chopped clove of garlic (optional) and a decent sprinkling of salt.
- Give it all a good stir and leave it to cook for about 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes or so, the beans won't be taking up quite as much room in your pan because they will be starting to wilt a little.
- At this point, add enough hot water to just about cover the beans. Bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for about an hour.
The juices will reduce (but you don't want to get rid of them completely - they're good!) and this is your finished product. Allow it to cool and then eat it.
Zeytinyağlı Yeşil Fasulye makes a fantastic meze. (Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over it before you eat.) We also eat it as a side with grilled meats. We've got friends coming tomorrow night for tea and we're going to serve this very dish you see in the photo with some of Barry's oven-baked seabass.