Braised Green Beans with Tomato

This is a wonderfully light meal for when French beans are in season. It takes only 3 minutes with a pressure cooker, the longest step being trimming the beans.


  • 1 kg green beans, ends trimmed with small paring knife
  • 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion (235 g), coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt, optional
  • Crushed pepper
  • 3 TBSP (40 g) tomato paste
  • 1 can (400 g) diced tomatoes in tomato juice


  1. Warm oil in the base of a large pressure cooker or pot and saute onions, adding salt and pepper if desired, until almost soft. Add garlic and saute for a further minute being careful not to burn it.
  2. Wash beans and add them to the onions, together with the tomato paste diluted in ½ cup of water and the diced tomatoes. Mix through. (If you are cooking the beans in a regular pot, add a further 1 cup of water).
  3. Cover with lid (remember to seal the pressure cooker properly) and turn up heat until the pressure builds up, then reduce to a low level and cook beans for 3 minutes. Note - with a pressure cooker you start counting the cooking time from when the pressure has built up, not before. The cooker will tell you when this occurs - some start to whistle while others have a gauge that pops up.
  4. Remove pressure cooker from the heat and hold it over the sink so the lid is briefly exposed to running tap water until the pressure is reduced so you can open it easily. Be careful when you remove the lid so the steam escapes away from you.
  5. If cooking the conventional way, bring covered beans to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes until soft.
  6. Serve beans in a deep white plate with crusty bread. In Greece, some Fetta cheese and olives are also commonly supplied on the side.

Serves 4

  • Remove the beans from the fridge half an hour before you plan to trim them so they are not too cold to handle. Believe me - it really makes a difference!
  • To make light work for yourself, trim the beans the night before you need them or while watching TV. Share the job with family members!
  • You can reduce the amount of oil by half if you want to save on calories

Per serve: energy 1070 kJ (256 Cal); protein 8 g; fat 19 g; saturated fat 3 g; cholesterol 0 mg; carbohydrate 14 g; fibre 10 g; calcium 143 mg; iron 4 mg