Prep 25 mins
Cook 45 mins
In this recipe, the sauce is the thing. It is a wonderful tomato sauce, sweetened with sweet basil but given a slight sour tang by the addition of yogurt, sour cream and vinegar. Azeri’s use the sauce on vegetables – particularly green ones – and also on fowl and lamb. A great Azeri recipe from The Silk Road Gourmet Volume One. Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. It is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south.
- 1 lb of fresh string bean, trimmed
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 onions, sliced thinly into crescents
Azeri Tomato Sauce
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 cup plain yogurt
- 1⁄4 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar (or more to taste)
- Melt the butter in a sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the onions and lower the heat, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Add the green beans, stir and cover to cook for 20-30 minutes – stirring occasionally – or until the beans begin to soften to your desired consistency.
- If you haven’t made the tomato sauce at an earlier time, it can be prepared as the beans cook.
- When the beans are almost done but not quite, pour in a desired amount of tomato sauce and allow them to simmer on low for a few minutes. Remove from heat and serve.
- Tomato Sauce:.
- In a small to medium saucepan, stir in the tomato sauce and half of the basil and all of the pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes or until warmed. Stir in yogurt, sour cream, and vinegar. Cover and cook another 5 minutes – stirring often. Stir in remaining basil and salt cook another 3-5 minutes and pour over the green beans, vegetables or meat.
This was really amazing! We added some enochi mushrooms and some baby homegrown potatoes to turn this from a side to a main. The sauce was completely stunning. I'm seriously planning basing a new dish around that sauce. Thanks for a beautiful 'trip' to Azerbaijan. Made for My Food Odyssey.
I switched things around with this recipe. First I gently simmered fresh pureed tomatoes with salt and pepper. While the sauce was simmering, the onions were browned in a combination of butter and olive oil. Then fresh green beans were placed on top of the browned onions, a splash of water, covered and steamed for five minutes. Plated the green beans and onions, stirred in the sour cream, yogurt and vinegar with the tomato and spooned that on top of the vegetables. Garnished with fresh basil and seasoned with salt and pepper. The only complaint and a minor one is for me the eye appeal. I think some folks might be put off by the pink color of the tomato sauce after stirring in the sour cream and yogurt. The flavor is delicious however! Made for Veg Tag/June. PS the directions are missing when to stir in the white vinegar.