Fasolakia (Green Beans Stew)

There’s nothing quite as rewarding as picking fresh vegetables from your garden.  Add some herbs and spices or a special sauce, and those veggies make life worth living. My favorite garden vegetable is the green bean. When my dad’s green beans start producing, it means fasolakia will soon be on the table. You can enjoy fasolakia throughout the summer months when the beans (and the tomatoes that are blended) in are at their freshest. Or, be like me, a person who eats fasolakia year round. When the bean and tomato vines are wilted from the garden in the colder months, I go with store bought beans and canned tomatoes. Fasolakia is a “lathera” dish, meaning a dish that is nearly drowned in olive oil. Lots of olive oil! The olive oil, herbs, and tomatoes combine with the beans for a wonderful sauce, so make sure to have plenty of psomi nearby when you make this dish because you’ll certainly want to sop up every last drop of juice when you reach the end of your bowl.

 

Ingredients:
-1 large white onion, sliced
-2 pounds green beans (fresh or packaged)
-4 cups whole tomatoes, chopped to medium pieces (canned or fresh)
-3/4 cup olive oil
-6 garlic cloves, chopped
-2 Tablespoons oregano
-2 Tablespoons tomato paste
-1 cup red wine
-1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
-Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Snap the ends of the green bean and discard the ends. Pull out the string from the spine of green beans if necessary. Wash and drain the trimmed beans in a colander.
  2. In a large pot, heat ½ cup of the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until they become wilted. Add the garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper and sauté for another 5 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the green beans and blend with the tomatoes and oil. Add the remaining oil and wine and mix in. Turn down the heat, cover the pot, and slow simmer for approximately 1 hour.
  4. Towards the end of the hour, add additional oregano, salt, and pepper to taste, or oil if you’d like.
  5. Test beans for flavor and doneness and season to taste.
  6. Serve warm and enjoy!

Optional:
-For a heartier meal, chop and add in potatoes or zucchini (add in before the beans).
-For a tasty topping, add crumbled feta or kalamata olives when serving.

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