Stewed Green Beans with Fennel

This is tasty and remarkably easy. I’ve made it twice in the new year. Thanks, mom.

  • Green beans (one pound? six handfuls? It doesn’t really matter.)
  • 1 or 2 yellow onions
  • 1 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • Cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper

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Remove the ends of the beans. Steam or boil them until they soften. Meanwhile, slice the onions into fairly thick rings and cook them, without browning, in oil for a few minutes. Add the beans and the entire can of tomatoes and juice, popping the tomatoes with a spoon and mashing them a little. Add a cup of water, and fennel seeds and salt and pepper to taste. The key to this dish is to let it sit and simmer and stew (uncovered) forever, i.e. 2 to 4 hours (though it’ll be palatable in far less time), adding some water whenever it looks dry. Everything melds and concentrates and becomes a little jammy.

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