buttered green beans with tomato + feta


It’s always boggled me that we can begin September with West Indian rooftop picnics like these:


We pile our plates high with rice, beans, chicken full of jerk. Sizzling sticks of salty sweet, buttery corn.


And sure enough, in a few short weeks, we’re digging apples from large barrels at the supermarket, we’re thinking about butternut squash and readying ourselves for something a little more stewy.


We cross our hearts, promising to use up the rest of the tomatoes before they’ve faded.



In those few short weeks, spinning from season to season, college friends gather again in our colors to watch our alma mater in football from barstools. I think again about when I might go to grad school and what for, how I loved academia because it was so mighty with ideas and dreams.


With the wind which has begun to churn with its little chill, I decide to get back into springy sneakers to go running outside, because the cool in my lungs in autumn is so deliciously felt: like the browned buttery sweet of tomatoes with salty feta and just crisp enough, just soft enough string beans.


  • 3-4 cups fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced into rings
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed, minced
  • 1 cup fresh tomato (preferably heirloom), chopped
  • handful feta, crumbled
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Boil string beans 3-4 minutes in a pot of salted boiling water. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer green beans to an ice water bath to blanche. Drain and set aside.

Melt two tablespoons of butter over low heat, then toss in onions and saute until very soft and translucent, about ten minutes.

Melt two tablespoons of butter over low heat, then toss in onions and saute until very soft and translucent, about ten minutes.

Increase heat to medium, stirring in green beans and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute string bean mixture with onions and tomatoes until tomatoes soften slightly, 2-3 minutes. Add minced garlic for the last minute or so. Drizzle with lemon juice. Serve hot with crumbled feta cheese and crusty bread if you have it.


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