Home » Cuisine: Georgian » Georgian recipes: green beans with herbs and garlicky yogurt (mtsvane lobios borani)

Georgian recipes: green beans with herbs and garlicky yogurt (mtsvane lobios borani)

Rohelised oad ürtide ja jogurtikastmega / Mtsvane lobios borani / Green beans with herbs and garlicky yoghurt

It’s a season for green beans (aka French beans, fine beans, string beans), though I’m getting my beans from the market stall just now and not from my garden. Back in April, when all decent gardeners were sowing their beans, I was in Tuscany with my dear K. and our three small kids, so some of my vegetables will be ripening later than usually this year, as they were planted or sown later than they ideally should have been planted or sown 🙂

Today’s recipe is a flavoursome Georgian (= the country in the Caucasus region, not the state in the US :)) vegetable dish, with loads of herbs and a garlicky yoghurt dressing. Simple to make (and during winter you can cheat by using frozen beans) and a great way to use a great variety of herbs from your allotment or backyard.


You’ll find all of Nami-Nami’s Georgian recipes here.

French beans
Green beans (haricots verts) at a Lyon market in France, August 2009

Georgian-style green beans with herbs and garlicky yogurt
(Rohelised oad ürtide ja küüslauguse jogurtikastmega)
Serves four to six

450 g green beans
1 onion, chopped
4 Tbsp butter
0.25 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of ground cloves
freshly ground black pepper
finely chopped fresh herbs, including (purple) basil, tarragon, coriander/cilantro, dill, savory

Yoghurt dressing:
250 g strained Greek yoghurt
1 small garlic glove, minced
0.5 tsp salt

1 Tbsp fresh spearmint, finely chopped

Trim the beans, cut into 2 or 3 and blanch in a salted water for a few minutes or until al dente. Drain. (If you use frozen beans, then these are pre-cooked and just need to be defrosted.)

Heat the butter on a large frying pan/skillet, add the chopped onion and sauté till translucent. Add the pre-cooked beans, then season with cinnamon, cloves, pepper. Fry gently on a medium heat, stirring every now and then, until the beans are fully cooked and soft.

At the same time prepare the yoghurt dressing. Place the minced garlic clove and salt into a bowl and pound into a paste (or simply use a fine Microplane zester/grater). Mix with yoghurt. Put aside.

Add the chopped herbs to the cooked green beans, toss thoroughly and heat for another minute. Transfer the herbed beans into a serving bowl, drizzle the yoghurt dressing on top.

Garnish with mint. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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