Monday, June 24, 2013

Fasolakia (Green Bean Stew)


Beautiful, tender green beans cooked slowly in a tomato-based sauce is the perfect companion for a wonderfully light but protein-rich serving of Greek baked ricotta. This is my new favourite meal at the moment. I'm absolutely going green bean bananas for it!


Stewed green beans, or Fasolakia, is a delicious winter warmer that can transport you to a place of comfort and happiness :) I've been cooking beans this way for a while but never had I appreciated their amazing accompaniment abilities until I served them up with baked ricotta.

There are so many different types of vegetable stews in Greek cuisine, most of them slow cooked and often served with feta cheese crumbled over the top so it's no surprise that ricotta goes so well with Fasolakia.

Slow cooking Fasolakia sweetens the onion and tomato and tenderises beans. Putting this stew together is easy – it just requires a bit of patience while it's cooking as it needs more than an hour to cook. The upside is that you can make your baked ricotta while the stew is cooking, and the aromas from your kitchen will send you to that comfortable, happy place before you even get to eat the beans!

Perfect as an accompaniment for a Meatless Monday meal, I have no doubt that Fasolakia will win you over. It has that way with people :)

Fasolakia (Green Bean Stew)

Adapted slightly from the recipe for Greek Fresh Green Beans on the Authentic Greek Recipes blog.

The recipe for Greek Baked Ricotta can be found here.

Makes 6–8 serves

Ingredients

  • 1 kg fresh green beans
  • 100ml good quality olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and grated
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or one 400g can of peeled, chopped tomatoes)
  • 100ml water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Wash and trim ends from beans. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large, heavy based pot. Add grated onions and fry over low–medium heat for a few minutes.
  3. Add the beans and the minced garlic and fry, stirring, for another minute or so.
  4. Add the tomatoes, water, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cover pot and simmer on very low heat for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  6. Add the parsley, increase heat to medium and allow to simmer, uncovered, for around 5 to 10 minutes until any watery liquid has evaporated and all you are left with is a thick, tomatoey sauce.

I'm linking up again with the ever-resourceful Veggie Mama this week, on her Meatless Mondays segment. This week she's been doing a bit of slow-cooking herself.



38 comments:

  1. Yum! I love beans and this looks delicious (as always!). I hope there are some beans in my veggie box soon because this looks like a winner!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Liz! Good luck with your veggie box delivery - fingers crossed there'll be some beans in there :)

      Delete
  2. Just discovered you courtesy of The Veggie Mama and have spent a delightful ten minutes flicking through your recipes and quietly squeaking in delight - green beans! Cheese! Artichokes! Asparagus! Hurrah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi ANB! Thanks for dropping by :) You have a good eye for spotting an interesting group of ingredients here - cheese, artichokes and asparagus might actually go really well together in some sort of frittata I reckon!

      Delete
  3. this is one of my favourites too :) I never really liked beans before I moved away from home. I missed my mum's Greek meals so much that I ended up loving this dish in the end :) Mum and I also put potatoes and carrots in ours and sometimes a sprinkling of fresh dill :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey yeah it's funny how certain foods grow on us when we finally grow up :) Until only a few years ago, I never liked tomatoes I prepared myself - cooked or uncooked - and I'm sure it was because I never knew how to cook or season them properly. I always loved them when someone else cooked them though, and especially loved the way they were used in Greek cooking and salads. I think the type of tomatoes we get here in Australia doesn't help either. You can't beat a home-grown Greek tomato :)

      I'm actually going to be posting a recipe soon for a green bean soup with carrots and other vegetables and I might take your tip and sprinkle in a bit of dill too. Perfect!

      Delete
  4. Love, love, love Fasolakia especially with fresh warm crusty bread.....BUT then again, your Baked Ricotta will do quite nicely. It's still on my to do list but it will be done.

    Nancy :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I love it with bread too! Absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of baked ricotta AND bread to go with fasolakia!

      Delete
  5. I've never had this, but I'm going to try making it ASAP! The baked ricotta with lemon and oregano sounds like heaven (pinned it and linked to it on FB!), and I'm appreciating how easy the recipe seems :)Thanks for another great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Christy! The baked ricotta really is so easy and the lemon gives it a zing that works so well with the tomatoey beans. I hope you get a chance to make it soon!

      Delete
  6. what a simple and beautiful recipe. i cannot wait to make this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Caitlin. I cannot wait to make it again myself :)

      Delete
  7. This is one of my favorites. My mother in law makes it all the time .. Love it over rice.. Beautiful photos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny how many of us grew up hating beans as kids, but can't get enough of them now! This is one of my favourite dishes too :)

      Delete
  8. I love simple recipes, this looks great! Plus green beans are a family favorite around here :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another green bean fan! Yes, such a very simple recipe, but so totally delicious.

      Delete
  9. Lovely beans Lisa. As you say it is a classic summer food that we eat with tomato salad and lots of feta cheese. I'm sure it will fit beautifully with the baked ricotta.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mina! Next time I make the baked ricotta I might put feta cheese in there too.

      Delete
  10. Love your photos Lisa, these look like you could almost pluck them from the screen. Slow cooking magically transforms the most ordinary vegetables - your fasolakia looks luxuriously simple and perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's amazing how slow cooking can create velvety soft vegetables without turning them to mush. I love beans this way.

      Delete
  11. I'm starting to get lots of beans from my garden, so this recipe is perfect! I think I've had something similar at a restaurant before, but it's one of those dishes I never really thought to make myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny how it's usually these simple, minimalist recipes that we never think to make for ourselves. I would love it if you made fasolakia with your home-grown beans Kiersten!

      Delete
  12. Fasolakia will forever be in my heart (and stomach!). Aren't they just delightful? I love adding a few potatoes in there too...so comforting! Beautiful as always Lisa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Peter. They are such a delight to cook and eat! I can't wait to eat them in Greece. I love making fasolakia but some how they always taste better in Greece!

      Delete
  13. Just came back from Greece. Stunning country, so fresh and genuine like its cuisine. I loved every tiny spot of it. Now I'd like to cook all thing Greek food. For this I'm going to follow your airy and beautiful blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's wonderful Daniela, that visiting Greece has been such an inspiration for you. Fresh and genuine are very good words to describe the country, the people and the food. It's such a magical place :)

      Delete
  14. I'm a huuuuge fan of green beans, so I'm soooo going to Fasolakia. Great summer dish :-) yum, yum, yum :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Joanna! Stewed green beans are great for summer or winter. We are still freezing here and I am making another batch today :)

      Delete
  15. This is one of my favorite summer dishes!Love it!
    Filakia!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Lenia! Three cheers for green beans!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. My Mum had a glut of green beans in her garden last summer and I searched for a recipe to use them up that could be frozen. I found Fasolakia and absolutely love it. Even my husband will eat beans this way! I sometimes add potatoes and we often have it with good quality sausages and crusty bread. I've just put the first of this years beans into my slow cooker so it's Fasolakia for tea tonight. I love your site and am going to try more of your recipes. I visited Greece (Corfu)for the first time this year to celebrate my sister's 50th birthday and loved the food and the island so much that I'm taking my husband next May! Janice T.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janice, thanks for stopping by :) I'm really pleased you and your husband are fans of fasolakia! It's such an easy dish to prepare and tastes amazing. That's wonderful you're going back to Greece next year! I know I'm biased, but to me it's the most beautiful country in the world :)

      Delete
  18. Comfort food! I love it cold the next day with a spoonful of Greek yogurt on top!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alexis! I'm with you on cold fasolakia with yoghurt. Absolutely delicious! I'm on holiday in Greece at the moment and I'll be making this dish tomorrow, along with baked ricotta, for my family here at the house where we're staying :)

      Delete
  19. This is a fantastic dish for summertime, when there is an excess of fresh beans and tomatoes. When I cook this, I always add just a *little* bit of cinnamon to it, because that is the way I've tasted it in several of my favorite Greek restaurants. Cinnamon by itself is not a "sweet" spice - many people are so used to always encountering it in combination with sugar that it seems a strange addition to a savory dish. But the addition of cinnamon really takes this dish to the next level. The other suggestion, if you have the time, is to cook this for a looooong time. I will bring the dish together on the stovetop, and then cover it and put it in a 250 degree oven for as long as 8 hours. During that time, the beans really become soft and velvety, and the flavor deepens and changes completely. You can also add large chunks of zucchini squash to this dish as well! Topped it with some crumbled feta!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jeff, thanks for such a detailed comment and wonderful suggestions! I often put cinnamon in many tomato-based Greek dishes but I haven’t tried it with fasolakia. Cinnamon definitely livens a savoury dish and gives it that very distinctive Middle Eastern/Mediterranean flavour. I also love your idea of slow cooking fasolakia for 8 hours. We have a few days of cold weather coming up in Melbourne this week so an all-day oven-fest might just be what we need to keep the house warm :)

      Delete
  20. Green beans with olive oil and tomatoes are delicious. Your recipe it's great :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for your comments and feedback.

To leave a comment, please choose your profile account from the dropdown menu below. If you don't have a profile account, you can use the "Anonymous" option but please remember to sign your name at the end of your comment so I know who you are.

Thanks and hear from you soon!