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Spicy Braised Green Beans with Feta

| 218 Comments

Spicy Braised Green Beans with Feta are my welcome home to my tiny, well-cherished, and recently abandoned kitchen. In a 22 night span, Ben and I spent only five in our own bed. We’ve slept in six cities, driven 3,592 miles, and consumed more calories than the average Cheesecake Factory serves on a Friday night. It’s good to be back in my own kitchen again.

 Spicy Braised Green Beans with Feta

Don’t get me wrong—I’ve loved our travels and the friends, sites, and foods that have come along with them. From our quad-state Christmas piled high with real-deal Kansas City barbeque, homemade ravioli, and my Grammy’s cooking, to our fish taco-stuffed week in San Diego, to our Tennessee barbeque, pizza, and other-wise deep-fried weekend in Nashville, we have lived and eaten well these past three weeks. I found new flavors while visiting old friends, and I hope to share many of them with you here.

The end of a long stint of traveling leaves me with mixed emotions. I’m looking forward to finally taking down our Christmas tree (embarrassing) and sticking around long enough to finish a gallon of milk, but I also miss the sense of abandon that traveling gives me. Vacation is an opportunity to experience the new, to be excessive, and to postpone healthy habits until we return home to reality.

Home for me is the kitchen, and as I reflect back upon the tastes of our travels, I want to bring the excitement and spice of trying a new restaurant or regional specialty to my kitchen. Though I’ll never be able to recreate the magic of legit barbeque served up in a Kansas City gas station, I can capture a sense of uniqueness with my cooking. Spicy Braised Green Beans with Feta are the first dish I made upon returning to Madison, and they proved to be an ideal culinary bridge between vacation and “real life.”

Feta Green BeansBraising is a fancy-sounding culinary technique that essentially means first cooking something on high heat, then reducing the heat, sealing it, and allowing it to cook slowly in its own yummy juices. The benefits of slow cooking are that the flavors have a long time to develop, and tougher vegetables or cuts of meat tenderize beautifully. Braising is also an easy way to transform an otherwise plain ingredient (green beans) into a complexly flavored dish.

Green beans suffer from neglect. We boil them up, then shove them limply into the shadow of whatever main dish (usually meat) is in the spotlight. I think it’s a shame because crunchy, vitamin-rich green beans have serious potential. With the help of tomatoes, onions, and harissa (a spicy middle-eastern chili paste), Spicy Braised Green Beans with Feta elevate the green bean from a vegetable our mothers once forced us to eat into a side dish worth a second helping. Parsley adds freshness and feta cheese provides saltiness and creaminess.

Plus, cheese is never a bad choice. Life motto.

Spicy Braised Green Beans with Feta and Tomatoes

To ensure the green beans become tender and flavorful in a manageable amount of time (traditional braising can take hours), I added a pinch of baking soda to the recipe. With a bit of this old-kitchen standby, our green beans are perfectly tender (but NOT mushy, ew) and complexly flavored with only 40 minutes of oven time. Fist pump for chemistry!

I braised the green beans in my new favorite kitchen piece: the Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless 6.5 Quart Stockpot. Besides being easy on the eyes (yes, I’m shallow enough to rate the attractiveness of my cookware), it conducts heat masterfully and safely transitions from stovetop to oven, making it the perfect vessel for my Spicy Braised Green Beans with Feta.

To celebrate new beginnings in January, I’m teaming up with Anolon and eight fellow bloggers to giveaway a shiny new 11 piece Anolon Nouvelle Copper Cookware Set! To enter the giveaway, use the widget below and complete as many or as few entries as you prefer (a comment is required, but every other action will just increases your chances to win this fab prize.) Please be patient as the widget may take a few moments to load.


Psst! For additional chances to win (and more goodness), check out these fabulous recipes from participating bloggers:

 

Spicy Braised Green Beans with Feta: the oven does the work; you reap the benefits. Goodbye mushy green beans, and hello Mediterranean flavor fest!

Spicy Braised Green Beans with Feta {Anolon 11-piece Cookware Giveaway}

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Spicy Braised Green Beans with Feta {Anolon 11-piece Cookware Giveaway}

Tender, flavorful green beans cooked in a spicy Mediterranean tomato, garlic, and harissa sauce, topped with feta cheese. Good bye mushy, boring green beans, hello healthy and flavor-packed side dish! Even picky eaters will ask for seconds.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 to 3-inch lengths
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon harissa paste*
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions

  1. Place rack in lower middle of oven and preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Heat olive oil in a large, ovenproof Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add water, baking soda, and green beans and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, harissa, diced tomatoes in their liquid, salt, and pepper.
  2. Cover pot, transfer to oven, and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened and the green beans are soft, 40 to 50 minutes. Stir in parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with feta cheese.

Notes

Harissa paste is available at specialty food stores, Asian markets, and some grocery stores, as well as online. If you cannot find it, try substituting garlic chili paste with a pinch of ground cumin and ground coriander. It will not be an exact replica, but your green beans will still be delicious.

http://www.thelawstudentswife.com/2014/01/braised-green-beans/

Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.

 

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Author: Erin Clarke

I'm Erin, and I'm on a mission to cook everything that's tasty, {mostly} healthy, and budget-friendly—all while Mr. Right is in the library. I'm convinced that cheese and chocolate are the answer, that you can love sweets and veggies equally, and that delicious, satisfying food should be accessible to everyone. The recipes here are affordable, approachable, and delectable, and I can't wait to share them with you!

218 Comments

  1. 1. Same life motto as you,
    2. Totally agree that beans don’t get the showcasin’ they deserve…I love some me some green beans.
    3. Totally drooling over how ah-may-zing that harissa and feta would taste together! These beans look fan-flippin-tastic girl!

  2. Pingback: Spicy Sweet Chicken Stir Fry - Garnish with Lemon | Garnish with Lemon

  3. What an amazing month! Welcome home-those green beans look fantastic! YUM! Pinned.

  4. I would make those green beans!

  5. Can’t wait to try these green beans (I’m on the hunt for harissa paste!). As for what I’d cook with that gorgeous, drool-worthy set of cookware – EVERYTHING!

  6. I would make your green beans, they look amazing!

  7. Ok, I’m not a green been fan BUT this is a way I would eat them! YUMMY!! Loved hearing about your travels!! :)

  8. Your Thai Chicken is going into the crock pot today!

  9. I would make roasted salmon with brown sugar chili glaze.

  10. Love that you added harissa to this!!

  11. I’d love to make a roast!

  12. I would make a nice pot of soup or stew in my new cookware. Thanks for the chance to win it.

  13. Pingback: Orange Ginger Shrimp Stir-Fry - Cooking with Books

  14. Love this green bean recipe. Thank you and have a Happy Monday!

  15. I will make everything I cook in this new cookware – breakfast, lunch and dinner!

  16. I agree with Liz. It’s so cold and snowy outside this morning that I would make a pot of soup.
    I’m really enjoying your blog!

  17. Pingback: Easy Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry Recipe {Anolon Giveaway} - Rachel Cooks

  18. Hunter chicken

  19. What an elegant side dish! I’m loving this take on green beans. Thanks for organizing all of this! xo

  20. I just bought harissa at Whole Foods for a carrot salad recipe I made for Christmas… I’m so happy that now I can finish up the jar on this new delicious recipe (and maybe even use a new pan :) )

  21. Oh how I’d love to have a decent set of cookware to cook umm anything hehe. Mostly we eat a lot of soups and stews in these cold winter months so probably mushroom stew would be first up on the list.

  22. Yall have had a busy three weeks! And you still managed to bring us some delicious dishes – like this one!
    I love crunchy not soggy green beans so I gotta try blanching them at some point!
    Looking forward to hearing bout all the new flavors you picked up on your travels :)

  23. I would make anything in these pans! Actually might get me in the kitchen if I had pans I loved ;)

  24. I would like to make a Fettuccine Alfredo with broccoli.

  25. These pans look great, and what a wonderful opportunity! Although it is difficult for me to decide what I would cook first, the Skillet Spanakopita by Dessert for Two that you listed on your site looks so interesting and delicious, which means it would probably be the recipe to induct the pans into my kitchen cookware family!

  26. I would make a big family dinner…meaning my sons and their girlfriends would be visiting. Menu as yet undetermined…

  27. big pot of soup!

  28. Big pot of Chili in the stock pot for the football games, in the saute pan Osso Buco for my wife.

  29. I would cook you and Ben dinner in it! Your choice!

  30. Pingback: Pan seared pork chops covered in a simple orange glaze.

  31. Risotto, stews and soups, stir fry . . . the list is endless. The set is beautiful. I think I’d be happy just to have something so beautiful in my kitchen. Plus, it’s my birthday today — can’t imagine a better gift. :-)

  32. Ooh, if I had new Analon cookware to replace my 35 year old set, I would make this recipe. Okay, I’m going to make this recipe anyway.

  33. I would start making (and freezing) all the meals I will need on hand once this new baby arrives next month!!

  34. Wild rice soup with yellow sulfur shelf mushrooms!

  35. Well, I would start with this recipe. It looks amazing! Love green beans and this is a refreshing take on them.

  36. Those braised green beans look mouthwatering, Erin. I love the flavours.

  37. I WOULD DO THIS RECIPE FOR THE BEANS AND CHICKEN AND MASHED POTATOES..WITH CORN BREAD–ONION AND TOMATOES..YUMMY

  38. I just ate but this recipe has me drooling! Is it time to start dinner?

    I would love to cook up a Thai-inspired stir fry in that gorgeous cookware :)

  39. I would make a big pot of Vegetarian Chilli. The green beans sound delectable!! I hope that I win the copper cookware!

  40. Funny you used Harissa because it is the “it” flavor of 2014. Everybody is going mad over it and I can see why. These green beans look packed full of flavor.

  41. I love that you think of the aesthetics of what you cook in! Sometimes that can make ones day. I think I would have to test my caramel recipe in the Analon Nouvelle Copper cookware.

  42. Would love to win this lovely cookware!

  43. These look great Erin! I always need new veggie ideas that will be a hit with the fam.

  44. Since it’s so cold out, I’d love to make some hearty soups and stews!

  45. I would use that nice, big stock pot to make to make ricotta cheese for my lasagna.

  46. Pingback: Nutmeg Nanny Spicy Penne alla Vodka » Nutmeg Nanny

  47. That is a lot of travel! I bet you’re glad to be home. I am obsessed with green beans lately. Can’t get enough.

  48. Pingback: Skillet Spanikopita {+giveaway} | Dessert for Two

  49. I would make a complete dinner–roast, starch and vegetables. The String Bean recipe would be the vegetable.

  50. These green beans look good, but I think the first thing I’d make is a nice stir fry with egg rolls…I have Chinese New Year on the mind!

  51. I would make taco meat

  52. I would definitely give those green beans a try– or maybe a healthy veggie stir fry– in that cookware!

  53. I think a stir fry would happen first, or maybe a nice stew in these waning winter months. =)

  54. I would cook a number of dishes but would start with this one with green beans and feta! Looks delicious!

  55. I would do a good country cookin’ meal. Country Fried Steak and potatoes and mac and cheese and green beans. YUM!

  56. What a great recipe and giveaway! Thanks for sharing :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  57. Pingback: Climbing Grier Mountain » tex-mex risotto with chorizo & sweet peppers + { an Anolon 11 piece Nouvelle Copper Cookware Set Giveaway!}

  58. Thank you so much for including me in this wonderful giveaway!! Love the green beans:)

  59. Wow I love this combination- I’m always after veggie lunches to take to work and this ticks all the right boxes. Tasty, easy to prepare and healthy! :O this is going to feature in my lunchbox this week for sure

  60. Soups, stews and winter comfort food.

  61. Erin, these look delicious!! Considering my house is a house full of girls who are recent college grads or in grad school, we could totally use these pots! I think the first thing I’d make is a soup recipe I’m posting in a couple weeks (it was so good I need more of it!) or chili for the Super Bowl! Go Seahawks! :)

  62. I Love to Make homemade Soups and Need a Stove top Stew Pot .. that would be wonderful to Win!

  63. I’ll fix it when you return to
    the cabin!

  64. Vegetable soup to warm us up during this sometimes bitter cold winter.

  65. First off, those green beans look amazing!! I usually just steam them…I know boring!! If I won the cookware, I think a nice big pot of chili would be great…especially with all the cold weather we are having!

  66. I’d probably make a big pot of comforting, stick-to-your-ribs stew!

  67. I need to have a tree taking down party too soon dont worry Erin. you have taken green beans to an another level..

  68. Love travelling and seeing family too but it’s definitely nice to come back home to your own kitchen :) Love green beans and these sound fantastic with the harissa paste and feta! I’ve never tried braising green beans before but loving this baking soda trick, will have to do that next time – thanks for sharing Erin :)

  69. Green beans and feta is such a delicious combo. Feta and almost anything is a delicious combo!
    Tried some thrice cooked chips with feta this weekend – heaven! This is like a healthy version!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  70. I would make these green beans with a smidge of bacon!

  71. Erin, your blog is fabulous and the recipes are seriously mouth-watering! As for the cookware, it would be a tough choice, but I’d love to try braising green beans like you did in your recipe, and making a delicious pot of soup. Thanks for the amazing giveaway and the wonderful recipe :)

  72. These green beans, of course! They look delicious!

  73. Love your blog Erin! Chance to win free cookware? Sign me up!

  74. i’d make a big pot of chicken noodle soup! yum!

  75. I would make potato latkes. Mmm.

  76. I’d love to make chicken tikka masala in my new cookware!

  77. I would love to experiment and make soups and rice dishes with these :) I am a college student and am unable to afford cooking items :) This would be so amazing for me :)

  78. Look delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  79. I would love to make a decadent macaroni and cheese or stir fry.

  80. The green bean dish looks like a good first!

  81. I would replace my mediocre starter set of pots and pans and help my fiance cook a nice dinner.

  82. I would make wild rice soup!

  83. I think I’d give the green beans a try..looks yummy!

  84. Haha, that always happens to me on trips, too! Except I can account for two Friday evenings :) I’m a huge feta fan and green beans are such an easy and delicious side dish. Yum!

  85. I would proudly make breakfast, lunch and dinner with this wonderful set of cookware.

  86. Those stir-fry recipes you posted recently look delicious; that’s what I would cook!

  87. OK, well, I know this is not at all the politically or healthily correct answer, but….I would so make a big pot of chicken and shrimp gumbo and maybe even a skillet full of shrimp Creole! I was born in Louisiana, but I have never made these two dishes for my three daughters still at home (I have 5 daughters and 1 son, so no, I am not one of your younger followers !). I regret that they have not tasted more of the Southern favorites my own mom used to serve, and living in Michigan means there will not be a whole lot of exposure. So, just as a treat, I’d make these dishes, followed by a serving of that scrumptious dessert you were torching the other day! (And thanks so much for the butane tip – I would have assumed the torch came filled, too! Teehee) And then later, I would try out each of your delicious recipes; maybe my hubby will finally like green beans! Enjoy your posts, sweetie. Thanks for sharing.

    • Laurie, I think that sounds like such a sweet idea. There is nothing like sharing the recipes that are dear to your heart! Thanks so much for your kind words–it’s wonderful to have you as a reader. PS. So surprising about the butane, right?! I made the cashier at Ace Hardware fill it up for me, lol

  88. Chicken and dumplings or red beans and rice

  89. My hubby is a Missouri native and is obsessed with Kansas City barbecue. I still haven’t tried it! I think I would make these green beans in my new pans, because they look perfect. Put feta on anything and I’m sold. :)

  90. i am thinking of steam brussel sprouts…yummy

  91. Ah, it must be great to be home! At least you put up a tree….I didn’t (law school finals got in the way)….
    The green beans look delicious too. Yum!

  92. It would have to be the sauteed zucchini dish that my husband introduced me to. Sliced zucchini dredged in flour and sauteed with chopped green chile. Yum!

  93. I would make a big pot of ham and bean soup! Rotel and shredded cabbage are my secret!

  94. I would make those green beans, I don’t even like green beans and these look good to me!

  95. Pasta with homemade sausage and peppers

  96. These beans!!

  97. I would make these green beans!!! They look incredible, lady. And I don’t even like the greens most days!

  98. I would like to make everything in these pans! lol, your beans look amazing, I love them with onion and bacon :) but this is a new twist I must try!

  99. I’d love to make a bolognese sauce

  100. The possibilities are endless with such a beautiful set. With the addition of 2 stepchildren I’ve outgrown my current set. Please choose me and I’ll send you pictures of the meals I make!!!

  101. We have a recipe for Teriyaki Chicken that would work really well in a new set on Anolon stainless steel pans.

  102. What a wonderful way to make green beans Erin! Love the Harissa addition!

  103. Glad to read you had a wonderful trip. All the food sounds amazing!
    And so do these beans! You’re right: they don’t get all the credit they should, and darn, they sound delish with the harissa yuuum!

  104. I would make nasi goreng with a homemade peanut satay sauce, prawn crackers and a teriyaki style chicken skewer.

  105. I would love to have this Anolon set to make green curry tofu & veggies with jasmine rice.

    Angela Cash
    angevege[AT]gmail[DOT]com

  106. I bet you are so relieved to be back in your own bed. THAT is the best part of coming home. If I’ve gotta give up eating like a pig, I better be able to snuggle in my own sheets. True life.

  107. Hi Erin, there is nothing like coming home after a long bout of travel. Especially when you cook like this! Wow, these beans look and sound delicious. I would use this set to make some sort of pasta dish!

  108. What a lovely set, if I won, I would make chili

  109. Those green beans look tempting, maybe some peppercorn steak to go with them.

  110. This recipe is awesome. I tried it with my best friends over the weekend and they loved it :) Thanks for that. As for the set, honestly? I’m trying to build up my kitchen with fine cookware, and this seems perfect for my red wine-braise short ribs or my butternut squash and goat cheese risotto :)

  111. Love to make Chicken Cachatore in the large skillet. Not sure of the spelling of the dinner, but love to cook and eat it.

  112. I would make some yummy chili, it’s a snowy morning here and would be a perfect day for chili

  113. I would make salmon, rice & asparagus along with other dishes thanks

  114. Definitely some soup!

  115. I would make breakfast lunch and dinner in those pans :)

  116. Your spicy braised green beans sound great and I would love to try them in a new Analon pan. Thanks for a chance.

  117. I make asparagus with garlic and herbs… would come out great in this new cookware!

  118. I would make lots of Mexican food & gumbo

  119. I would makse some zuppa toscana soup :)

  120. I am really trying new things and got some artichokes I want to try!

  121. If I win the Anolon 11-piece Nouvelle Copper Cookware Set Giveaway, I’d love to try making the braised green beans shown above!

  122. I would make the green bean dish as I love green beans ! I would make creamed chicken as well.

  123. I would make chicken and dumplings with the 11 piece analon set

  124. So many good options, I think my husband would love your green beans, I would also make the family favorite, a big pot of spaghetti.

  125. I would make some Bourbon Chicken!

  126. I would try these green beans, and a lot of other dishes also !!!

  127. I would like to try and make a cassoulet! Perfect cookwear to do it in!

  128. Beautiful cookware!! I would love to make garlic parmesan Polenta and these yummy green beans!!

  129. I would love to try the green beans!

  130. I know how you feel, Erin! Though travel can be fun and adventurous, there’s nothing better than your own bed… and kitchen! Welcome home. Sounds like you really earned a good, hearty home-cooked meal!

  131. So many choices, I would like to make Chicken Cordon Bleu and bacon cheddar mashed potatoes, with a side of asparagus. Those are all my husbands favorite foods, so that is why I chose that menu!

  132. Oh, what wouldn’t I make? I’d start with some soups and stews!

  133. I’d start with porkchops with mushroom pan gravy!

  134. I would love to make a veggie stir fry with tofu. And maybe some miso soup! Thanks for the giveaway :)

  135. those green beans look wonderful (at least to me – hubby would nix the feta and probably pick around the tomato pieces) but I bet everything would cook better in those pans – no more “hot spots”.
    I might have to do a nice pork tenderloin meal for the first “home cooked” creation. But I bet the sky will be the limit.

  136. I would make a small brisket in one of the pans in the oven, green beans, and German Potato Salad. using 3 different pans.

    wendym at cableone dot net

  137. If I won, I’d celebrate by cooking a LOT more. First dish? Fajitas!

  138. I would make my fried chicken!

  139. My daughter loved the carrot cake pancakes with the cream cheese glaze!

  140. These beans look amazing! I would totally eat a plate for dinner :)

  141. Pingback: Six Days in San Diego: Sunshine, Sushi & Shenanigans |

  142. All these years and I’ve never tried “braising” (or if I did I didn’t know it…). Your recipe for green beans looks yummy, I would start there.

  143. pasta primavera and those delicious green beans:)

  144. These look incredible! I can’t wait to try them. And if I won the cookware, I would cook up a hot batch of chili to warm up with on this blustery day!

  145. I would make some grilled chicken! Mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans!

  146. Would love to try some new recipes and make dinner for friends and family.

  147. I’d make omelets.

  148. I would make some broccoli soup!

  149. Make anything Greek or Cajun.

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