Fasolakia (Green Beans Stew)
By: Eleni Saltas
When my dad’s rows of green beans start producing, we make fasolakia (fah-so-LAH-kya). Add some herbs and spices or a special sauce, and those veggies make life worth living. Summer fasolakia can’t be beat but I also serve it year-round. When the bean and tomato vines are wilted black from the cold, I go with store bought beans and tomatoes, or even canned tomatoes. Trust me, it’s ok to use 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 be warned, your psomi (bread) will be busy at the end of this meal!
- 1 1⁄2 pounds green beans
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil—or more!
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 cups whole tomatoes, chopped to medium pieces (canned or fresh)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped (optional)
Step by Step Instructions
Snap off the ends of the green beans and discard. Pull out the string from the spine of green beans and break them in half if the beans are too long. Wash and drain the trimmed beans in a colander.
In a large pot, heat half of the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until they soften. Add in the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, and the remaining olive oil. Add the green beans and mix in well. Add additional seasonings to taste.
Cover the pot and simmer on low to medium heat for approximately one hour, stirring occasionally. Add more seasoning to taste.
Towards the end of the hour, check on the fasolakia. The beans should be tender and a sauce should be forming. If you like a thicker sauce, remove the lid so excess liquid evaporates. You can low-heat simmer this dish for hours. If you want more sauce, add more olive oil, wine or water.
Once satisfied, stir in the parsley. Serve warm with feta and bread.