Lamb with mixed green beans on wood fired oven

During summer months and the first half of fall, it’s the time of fresh green beans and fresh zucchini. There are many traditional recipes we can cook with these seasonal vegetables. We want to use this platform, these videos, and every chance given to point out the importance of cooking traditional dishes in season. We don’t freeze our vegetables to extend their use, so we only make seasonal recipes at our home.

At the time we prepared this video and wrote the recipe, the season of fresh green beans was coming to an end.

Lamb with fresh green beans is a traditional recipe with many variations, which was and still is quite popular in our village. When cooked in the traditional or indirect wood-fired oven and inside a clay baking tray, its flavor becomes unbeatable. 

Let’s see all this step-by-step.

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  • 2 whole legs from a milk-fed lamb (cut in serving size)
  • 1.5kg mixed fresh green beans
  • 0.5kg small tender zucchini
  • 2 bunches green onions, white and green parts
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • ½ bunch parsley chopped (just the leaves)
  • ¼ bunch dill
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 300ml tomato juice
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fine quality sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 pinch Ceylon cinnamon


Your first task is to preheat the traditional wood-fired oven, before preparing the ingredients. Refer to the video above for a step-by-step guide of lighting the wood-fired oven. 

When you get the initial fire going, start preparing your dish. Top and tail the green beans, rinse and transfer them into a large saucepan. Cook on low heat and stir them until tender. There should be around 1.5cm of water inside the saucepan. When they’re soft enough, add green onions, dry onions, garlic cloves, all chopped. Stir until they’re tender and add the grated tomato, the tomato paste, parsley, dill, salt, and pepper. 

Cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes. Add extra virgin olive oil last, but save a small proportion for the final stage. The saucepan should be filled almost halfway through with liquids. After 4-5 minutes, remove from the stove and pour the mixture into a clay baking tray. At this point, add the zucchini. Don’t cook them with the green beans in the saucepan because they will soften and melt. Spread the vegetables inside the tray and place the pieces of meat on top. This way, the green beans underneath won’t dry.

COOKED ON Traditional wood-fired oven

Traditional wood-fired oven


When the oven is preheated and the pieces of wood turn into embers, remove the charcoals from the oven, put the door back at its entrance and measure the temperature. Wait until the oven matures. When the temperature drops and reaches 240⁰C-250⁰C (464⁰F-482⁰F), place the clay baking tray inside. At this stage, both the tray and its content absorb a significant amount of the oven’s internal heat. Hence, the temperature drops a few degrees. In a properly constructed traditional oven, temperature decreases slowly and steadily. 

Slow-cooking brings out this seasonal recipe’s unique and full taste. Cooking time varies, depending on the oven, its internal temperature and the time-range of the temperature’s drop. For this dish, the cooking time will be around 2-2.5 hours. 

When the food is ready, you’ll be able to tell by the smell! At this final stage, all scents are emerging from our selected ingredients. Through time and experience, you will be able to know exactly when the food is ready.

After removing, allow it to cool down a bit. It is served warm with fine quality wine and seasonal salad.

Happy cooking everyone!