Green Bean Salad

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into fine half rings
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 pound fresh or canned tomatoes, finely chopped
1 pound fresh green beans, with tops and tails removed but otherwise left whole
1 tsp salt
Optional:  1 cup Circassian sauce (I didn’t put this on) – see below for recipe

Put the oil in a large frying pan and set over medium-high heat.  When hot, put in the onion and garlic – stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion just begins to soften.  Put in the chopped tomatoes and their liquid.  Stir and cook on medium heat, breaking up the tomatoes further, for another 7 to 8 minutes. Add the beans, salt and 1 cup water (I cooked a double batch and only used 1 cup of water, so you could likely go down to 1/2 a cup and be fine). Bring to a boil, then cover, turn the heat down to low, and simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until the beans are tender.  Uncover, turn the heat up, and boil down most of the sauce. Let the beans cool. If you wish to add the Circassian Sauce, fold it in gently.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Circassian sauce (a walnut and bread sauce)

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 thinnish slices of bread, crusts removed and broken up into small pieces (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup milk or a bit more, as needed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or walnut oil
scant 1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until you have a smooth sauce.  It should have the consistency of crepe batter, but you may make it thinner or thicker according to whatever you are serving it with.  Besides the green bean salad, it also goes well with eggplants.  Makes about 1  1/2 cups.