Fassoulia, gananch (String bean casserole)

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Fassoulia, Gananch (String bean stew)

Serves 4

1 lb. fresh string beans, trimmed, or 2 10 oz. cans French cut string beans

1 medium sized onion, sliced length-wise

1 small fresh tomato, sliced

1 tbsp tomato paste

4 cloves garlic, crushed

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup water

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

¼ tsp ground Aleppo red pepper

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp crushed dried basil

¼ tsp ground cumin

small loaf of crusty bread

Directions:

1. Brown the sliced onions in oil.

2. Combine onions, string beans, tomato, tomato paste dissolved in water, lemon juice, and spices in a stockpot.

3. Cook 30 minutes over low flame until tender.

Serve with bread, which may be broken into chunks, and dipped in stew gravy.

If served with bulghour or rice pilaf in lieu of bread, reduce water by ½ cup.

String bean stew makes an excellent side dish to complement lamb and pilaf.

Optional alternate

1. Boil lamb neck bones in a stove top saucepan until the meat separates from the bones.

2. Add the meat to the string beans, prepared as above, before cooking.