Zeytinyagli Taze Fasulye – String Beans In Olive Oil

Jeanne Calment, a French lady who holds the record for the longest confirmed lifespan, said that she owed her youthful appearance and longevity to olive oil which she poured on all her food and rubbed into her skin. That’s olive oil for you! It’s the fountain of youth and also makes vegetables taste superb, while preserving their color.

String beans in olive oil is a classic Ottoman dish which holds its title in contemporary Turkish kitchen as well. For this recipe, flat, thin and non-stringy types of green beans should be used. A steel pot is also a must, olive oil dishes always taste their best in steel pots.


1/2 kg of string beans, you can use frozen French style snap beans instead,

2 onions, chopped as finely as possible

2 cloves of garlic, each clove cut into four,

3 large tomatoes, peeled and petite diced or grated (including the juice),

1/4 cup + 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of virgin or extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon of lemon juice,

2 tablespoons of sugar,

1 teaspoon of salt,

1 1/2 cups of water,

1/2 cup of fresh parsley leaves,

Top and tail the beans. Halve them lengthwise if they are wider than 0.5 cm. Remove strings if there is any.  Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a medium size steel cooking pot and sauté onions until soft and yellow-brown. Add beans, tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of olive oil and water. Cover, bring to boil and simmer on very low heat for around 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the type of beans. Add hot water if necessary, in the end, the beans should be moist but not floating in juice. Check with the tip of a fork, remove from the heat when the beans are tender, slightly softer than al dente, but definitely not mushy. Throw in the parsley leaves, keep aside 1 or 2 pieces for decoration. Drizzle 2 more tablespoons of  uncooked olive oil and cover again. Do not remove your beans from the pot that you cooked them in and do not open the lid. Just leave the pot on the kitchen counter till the next day. Serve at room temperature, garnish with parsley. Pairs nicely with white bread.

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. woot, thankyou! I finally came to a site where the webmaster knows what they’re talking about. Do you know how many results are in Google when I search.. too many! It’s so annoying having to go from page after page after page, wasting my day away with thousands of people just copying eachother’s articles… bah. Anyway, thankyou very much for the info anyway, much appreciated.

  2. Thanks for the recipe! I’ve been searching all over the web for this.

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more, anyway l love your site layout. Is nice and clean.

  4. The recipes on this blog are really the most delicious things that I’ve ever come across. I love your blog on ottoman cuisine, I keep coming back for new posts.

  5. I had this olive oil dish last year in istanbul and I ve been looking for this recipe everywhere since then. Thsnks a lot! I’ll be coming back for sure!

  6. […] in that direction, it should be easy enough to reinvigorate my repertoire. After all, these Ottoman green beans I made a couple weeks ago were a hit, and the kid couldn’t gobble them down fast […]

  7. Thank you, simply delicious! Do you know if I can bottle thus recipe somehow and keep the beans in the pantry – we have so many beans right now in the garden!

    • Thank you. The best way to preserve french beans is freezing them, but bottling works as well and its a pretty common thing here in Turkey. Sterilize your bottles first. Heat some olive oil, cook cubed tomatoes, add in french beans and salt, cook halfway through, fill your bottles, cover tightly and put upside down on a clean surface, let them set for 24 hours. Refrigerate and use up if any of the bottles seem not vacuumed. This way your beans will keep for a year at least in the pantry. Then you can make the recipe above (of course you’ll have to reduce the cooking time as beans are already half-cooked).

  8. […] Zeytinyağlı taze fasuliye (ottomancuisine.com) […]

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