Loubieh bi Zeit, a Lebanese vegetarian side dish is a splendid way to use green beans.
Fresh or frozen green beans stewed in olive oil with onions, lots of garlic cloves and fresh tomatoes with no added spices nor water will blow your socks off. Yes, you read that right, no spices - none! And trust me, you will be surprised how good this simple dish tastes. Loubieh bi Zeit is great served cold or warm or at room temperature as a side dish with some pita bread for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Loubieh bi Zeit literally translates to green beans in oil and is a staple dish of every Lebanese home. I found this recipe in the cookbook by Mona Hamadeh back in summer of 2014 and have been making this dish since then. In the book, Everyday Lebanese Cooking, the author has titled the recipe as Loubeyeh Bzeit - Green beans with tomatoes. I did try other internet versions but kept coming back to this recipe for its simplicity. Remember my Horaa Osbao? It is the same feeling I get whenever I serve this Lebanese green beans stew with tomatoes. Simple, vegetarian, vegan, surprisingly flavourful and extremely comforting!
I love this book and have made most of the recipes already but it is not right on my part to publish every recipe as is on the blog diluting the cookbook. Therefore, I tend to share only the recipes that are a staple and our family favourite. I downsize the recipe to serve two or three and write the content in my own words. The book is cheaper now, so if you love Lebanese food, you should own this one.
- Olive oil: You don't have to use extra virgin olive oil but you may drizzle some over the finished dish. You can use any olive oil for the cooking process.
- Onion: I have used red onion.
- Garlic: Use the whole bulb of garlic for up to 500gms green beans. Just separate the cloves and peel them before using them. You don't have to chop the garlic cloves.
- Green beans: I have used french green beans but you may use any kind of green beans. Make sure to trim them and remove any fibre from the sides.
- Tomatoes: I have used fresh ripe tomatoes. Add tomatoes of the same weight as beans. So if you are using 500gms beans, then use 500gms tomatoes.
- Salt goes without saying...
How to make the Lebanese Loubieh bi Zeit recipe?
The two major tasks you would have to do for this recipe are trimming the beans and peeling garlic. Chopping onions is a given.
Use a deep sauce pot where you can stir easily. Fry the sliced onions and the whole garlic cloves until lightly browned in some olive oil. Stir in the cut beans, cover the pot and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes or until the green beans turn tender. Don't forget to stir occasionally during this time. Add the chopped tomatoes along with salt to taste. Cook open on low to medium flame for at least 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have stewed into a thick sauce. Don't have to add any water!
As the green beans stew slowly along with garlic cloves (that are added as a whole after peeling) and tomatoes, it becomes a thick sauce that you can scoop with pita bread. The green beans will become tender but still hold shape and the tomatoes and garlic cloves would have thickened in olive oil making the flavours come through incredibly. Switch off and stir in the remaining olive oil. Let it cool to room temperature before you serve. Lebanese Green Beans Stew with Tomatoes is ready to serve with some fresh pita bread or along with any other mezze accompaniments if any.
I love the simplicity of this recipe for Loubieh bi Zeit and though you may feel tempted to add some kind of spice powders, don't! You may use canned tomatoes, or frozen green beans but don't use tomato paste. We love it so much that I have made variations of it like a pasta dish, where you can stir in some prepared pasta and kebabs to make it a wholesome meal!
Lebanese Green Beans Stew with Tomatoes | Loubieh bi Zeit
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion sliced thinly
- 1 whole bulb of garlic peeled
- 300 grams french beans weighed after trimming
- 300 grams tomatoes chopped into large chunks or roundels
- salt to taste
- Wash, trim and cut the green beans into approximately 2-inch long pieces.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepot. Fry the sliced onions and the whole garlic cloves (don't have to chop them) until lightly browned.
- Stir in the beans, reduce the flame to low, cover the pot, and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes or until the green beans turn tender. Don't forget to stir occasionally during this time.
- Add the chopped tomatoes along with salt to taste. Cook open on low to medium flame for at least 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have stewed into a thick sauce.
- Switch off and stir in the remaining olive oil. Let it cool to room temperature before serving with some fresh pita bread.