My mother loves to talk on the phone. And when it comes to talking on the phone, she has no shame either. When I was a kid, there were still those green phones with the curly cable on the earpiece. CABLE! But at least my mother was then confined to the phone and didn’t talk on the phone while cooking. Luckily there were no flat rates back then. Otherwise I would have had whole string beans growing out of my ears just walking by.
Speaking of which! String beans in tomato sauce or lubjeh b’säth (string beans in/with oil) is a classic of Lebanese cuisine. It tastes absolutely delicious, is vegan and the preparation is quite quick – actually!
At some point there were phones without wires. WIRELESS PHONES! The 80s were crazy! But that also meant that my mother could chat with her best friend even while she was cooking. And me? I hungrily walked past her every five minutes to see how far along she was. She hadn’t got very far – not even in conversation. Sometimes it seemed like she was just holding the phone to her ear. but then – suddenly a new conversation sparked up. Then I simply seized the opportunity and helped her prepare it.
The next time, my mother sat at the table and told her friend on the phone that she was being cooked this time. By me. The kitchen looked like a battlefield afterwards, but I had made dinner. Fresh string beans in a spicy tomato sauce with plenty of garlic. I served pita bread with it. Meanwhile, I dressed the dish with butter rice. And my mother? She now has a smartphone …
Recipe for runner beans in tomato sauce
- Peel the onions, halve them and cut them into thin slices.
- Peel and roughly press the garlic.
- Wash the runner beans, remove the stalk and break into approx. 3 – 4 cm long sections.
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil for approx. 5 – 10 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the tomato paste and fry briefly.
- Add the runner beans and sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Deglaze with tomatoes and water and season with cinnamon, harissa and salt.
- Simmer with the lid closed for approx. 20 minutes on a rather low heat.