These Roman or Romano beans are a real treat and are very seasonal. These delicious, flat, sturdy beans are currently in season and if you see these beans, grab them and make them into this wonderful slow braised roman bean dish!
Roman or Romano beans are Italian long beans around 20cm or 8 inches in length and around an inch or so wide. They're related to the humble green or string bean and have flat pods inside them but they are different to broad beans or fava beans (although they do resemble them somewhat).
In Australia we tend to call them Roman beans but in America they call them Romano beans. They're usually available late Summer and Autumn and this week they showed up in my fortnightly vege box. I get very excited when I see new things show up in my delivery.
Roman or Romano beans can be eaten raw where they give you a satisfying crunch but they're better cooked as they're not as sweet as say snow peas and I'm not exactly going to give you a recipe for eating raw beans am I Dear Reader? ;) Which brings me to the main advantage to these beans - they hold up well to slow braising. In fact they're made for slow braises.
This recipe is a little bit Lebanese and a little bit Asian. This was one of those impromptu dishes that I made up last minute because I had forgotten that I had these in my crisper. I was actually channelling Lebanese green beans in tomato sauce. Except as normal, I veered away and added some chilli oil and fish sauce and it was so good that I had to share it with you!
Slow braising green beans might seem like the opposite to how we usually eat beans (we tend to cook beans so that they have a little bit of crunch) but these beans are sooo lovely and soft. They're like Lebanese beans but with some of the liberties I've taken.
Don't have Roman beans? You can easily use green beans in this! I hope you'll give this recipe for a delicious little side dish a go. It's not as sexy as say focaccia or a delicious curry but if you have a few sides like this you can certainly make it a meal.
We've recently been subscribing to a veg and fruit box. My friend Monica got me onto it and she would show me the range of fruit and veg that she would get delivered every fortnight. This service is so popular that they have a waiting list.
I wasn't sure how it would work with my recipe development and how it would dovetail with COVID-19 and avoiding trips to the shops. Prior to COVID, I used to go to the shops after Pilates every second or third day so that everything was fresh. This would also work because sometimes I'd be struck by inspiration to make something and suddenly need ingredients.
I tested the veg box out for a couple of deliveries before deciding that it worked really well with my recipe development. Mainly I love the variety of vegetables that we receive. I don't know about you Dear Reader, but I fall into patterns when I buy vegetables. When I used to go to the markets I'd pick up unusual things but not so much at the supermarket where a lot of the vegetables are the same every week. I'd stick to buying things like salad greens and tomatoes and maybe a few other things but there is so much interesting veg in each delivery. These beans were a nice surprise as were the Jerusalem artichokes and baby cavalo nero and organic potatoes. Best of all it lasts for the whole 2 weeks!
The fruit is a currently a little boring but then again winter fruit isn't anywhere near as exciting as summer fruit. Neither of us are keen on raw apples so we haven't eaten all our apples. Instead, I put some in a cake. But I bet you could have guessed that right? ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, do you get a vege box delivered? Do you buy the same vegetables and fruit every week? What is something you always buy?
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Braised Roman Beans With Tomato
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 1 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves: 2-4 as a side
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced (you can see I didn't really bother slicing them much)
- 250g tomatoes (around 5 fresh tomatoes), roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons water
- 275g Roman beans, cut in half
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons chilli oil
Step 1 - Heat the oil in a frypan (make sure you have one with a lid), and fry onion for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and fry for another minute. Then add tomatoes, tomato paste and water and stir around a little. Place the lid on and simmer on low to medium heat for 10 minutes.
Cooking down the tomatoes
Step 2 - Stir the mixture and add the Roman beans. Place the lid on and simmer for 30 minutes. This may sound like a long time but the beans will become lovely and soft. Season with fish sauce, salt and pepper. Add chilli oil and stir and serve.
Adding the Roman beans