Loubieh bil Zeit
The Joy of Slow-Cooked String Beans. James Oseland

Lebanon has an ancient tradition of producing high-quality olive oil, which is used to braise vegetables in a number of traditional dishes. One of the most popular is loubieh bil zeit, literally “green beans in oil,” a traditional Lebanese mezze in which romano beans are braised until tender with tomatoes in olive oil. It’s typically served at room temperature, but can also be enjoyed warm, as a side dish. Green beans or fava beans can be substituted for the romano beans. This recipe first appeared in our October 2014 issue with the story Home for the Harvest.

Yield: serves 4


  • 13 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 12 small white onion, minced
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1 vine-ripe tomato, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 lb. small romano or green beans, trimmed and halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. thinly sliced parsley


  1. Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Cook garlic and onion until soft, 4–6 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook 2 minutes. Add tomato and 1⁄2 cup water; cook until tomato is broken down, 6–8 minutes. Add beans, salt, pepper, and 3⁄4 cup water and reduce heat to medium; cook, covered, until beans are very tender, 20–25 minutes. Garnish with parsley.