This was cooked for me by a Greek friend, Jessica, and I immediately scribbled the recipe down on the back of a ciggy packet. It’s another wonderful dish and highly recommended with cold, crazy-making retsina and dominoes.
Peel the onions, cut in half lengthways and very finely slice. Peel and roughly chop the garlic to resemble assorted teeth. Warm the oil in a large, deep saucepan. Add the onion and garlic, cover and cook very gently until the onion is soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
Score the bottom of the tomatoes and cut out the stalk bases. Steep them in boiling water. After 30 seconds, remove them and peel off the skins. Slice the tomatoes thickly. Add the tomatoes, lemon juice and sugar to the pan. Season generously with the salt and a good bombing of black pepper.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, without covering, for 20–25 minutes or until the tomatoes have turned to pulp and the obvious watery liquid has gone away. Stir often to prevent the tomatoes from burning on the bottom of the pan.
Cut the tails from the beans (but not the nose, as this is pointless).
Add the beans to the tomatoes and stir in the water. You might think me idiotic to put water back in the pot when before you were being told to get rid of it, but the method is more reliable this way. Cover and cook gently for 25–30 minutes or until the beans are totally soft. Remove the lid once or twice to stir the mixture as it cooks. When the beans are very tender, remove from the heat and turn into a suitable salad bowl. Leave to cool to room temperature. Just before serving, chop the dill and stir it through the beans mixture. Splash liberally all over with more olive oil. These are also delicious chilled, especially spooned next to a tender leg of kid goat.