Armenian Green Beans

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A simple time-honored family recipe from Laura Branca’s mother for preparing fresh green beans. Lemon and an assortment of herbs provide a brisk accent. This recipe uses dried herbs, but if you have fresh herbs–thyme, marjoram and basil, you should double the amounts, or use more to taste. It’s difficult to ruin this dish. Always taste what you’re cooking. Sometimes, green beans cooked in tomatoes seem to take longer to become tender, and that’s why you add the tomatoes after the beans have begun to cook.

Armenian Green Beans
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Armenian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 cups trimmed green beans, whole or cut in half
  • 4 medium fresh tomatoes, chopped or 1 ½ cups undrained canned tomatoes, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Sauté the onions in the oil or butter until translucent.
  2. Add the beans and cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until they turn a bright, shiny green.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, lemon juice, herbs, and spices.
  4. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, 10 to 15 minutes, until the beans are tender and the flavors have married.
  5. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.