Lebanese Beans in Oil

A recipe I have been making every summer for all of my adult life. It is a cross between a condiment, a salad, and a veggie side. It can also function as an appetizer if you serve it with wedges of warmed pita bread, and is perfect for late-night refrigerator raiding.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup (or more) chopped onions
3 cloves (or more) garlic, coarsely chopped
1 lb fresh garden green beans, left whole
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns or to taste, coarsely smashed with a hammer or cracked in mortar/pestle
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup water or tomato juice
Fresh lemon juice from 1 or 2 lemons

Sautee the onions and garlic in the olive oil until transparent. Add the green beans and continue gently sauteeing until the beans change color to a bright green (do not rush this step, it seems to concentrate the flavor of the beans). Add salt, cracked peppercorns, tomatoes, and water. Cover and cook over low heat until the beans are tender. Remove from heat, cool slightly, add lemon juice to taste and adjust salt and pepper. It should have a nice lemony zing.

Serve lukewarm or cold. It will keep in the fridge and gets even better the second day.

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