RECIPE: Ellie Krieger’s Mediterranean Braised Green and White Beans

12/16/2015 at 03:20 PM ET

Ellie Krieger - Mediterranean Greens
Quentin Bacon; Inset: D Dipasupil/Getty

“You might not ordinarily think of vegetables as comfort food,” Krieger says, “but when green beans are simmered in a saucy pot of onions and hand-crushed tomatoes until they are meltingly tender, you are 100 percent in heart-warming, feel-good territory.”

“The addition of white beans gives the dish an extra heartiness, and the flexibility of being a vegetarian entree in larger portions. Fresh parsley, dill, and a dollop of thickened yogurt gives it a rustic, Greek flair. I love it as a main with a hunk of crusty bread, or alongside simply seasoned lamb chops or kabobs.”

Mediterranean Braised Green and White Beans
Serves 8
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes
2 lbs. green beans, trimmed
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill (or 2 tsp. dried)
¾ tsp. saly
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 15-oz. can no-salt-added white beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup plain low-fat greek yogurt, for serving

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until the tomato paste is lightly caramelized, 1 minute more.

2. Add the tomatoes with their juices, crushing each tomato with your hand over the pot before adding it. Add ½ cup of water and bring to a boil. Then, add the green beans, parsley, dill, salt, and pepper. Cover, lower the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the white beans and continue cooking, covered, until the green beans are very tender, 30 minutes more. The dish may be refrigerated or frozen at this stage.

3. Serve with a dollop of the yogurt on top.

To refrigerate and reheat:
The dish will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. To reheat, place in a pot over medium-low heat, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the amount. Alternatively, place in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a splatter guard, and microwave on full power for about 1 minute for a single portion.

To freeze and reheat:
Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then transfer into freezer bags in the portions desired, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator 24 to 36 hours and then reheat following the “to refrigerate” directions, or, to thaw quickly, run the bag under hot water for 30 seconds to release the frozen food from the bag, then transfer it to a pot along with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed though, 15 to 40 minutes, depending on the number of portions being thawed. Add more water to the pot if the bottom is getting dry. Alternatively, after running the bag under hot water, transfer the stew to a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a splatter guard, and microwave on the defrost setting for about 6 minutes per portion, then heat through on full power for about 1 minute.

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