Hi All! Today, I am sharing another Greek vegetarian/vegan recipe that’s perfect for the summer! The dish is called ‘Fasolakia’ and it’s basically green beans in tomato sauce. You can use the flat or the round variety of green beans. Both taste just as lovely. You also have the choice to use them fresh or straight from the freezer, right off the pack. The recipe involves just a few, basic ingredients. It’s especially tasty if cooked in the summer using ripe grated tomatoes. The traditional recipe uses parsley and no carrot. As you can see in the picture, I love to experiment with alternate versions, but the recipe I give you today is the traditional one.
INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)
250 gr of green beans
1 red onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large beef tomato, skinned and grated (or 200-250 ml of tomato puree)
Extra virgin olive oil – approximately 8 tablespoons
If using fresh beans, use a knife to cut each pod carefully all around at the edges. It’s okay if some pods open up exposing the seeds. If the pods are very large, chances are they are hard, so throw those as they won’t be tender when cooked, but do use the seeds! Wash everything well afterwards, put through a sieve and you’re ready to go! If using frozen beans from a pack, no need to defrost them. Just weigh 250 gr of frozen beans and put them straight into the pan.
Fry the onion in medium heat in the oil for about 1 minute, add the garlic. Stir continuously. When soft, add the tomato puree or the grated tomato. Continue to stir for another minute or so until the liquid lessens. Add 1 cup of hot water from the kettle. DO NOT add salt. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn up the heat and add the beans. DO NOT add salt yet or the beans will harden. Stir well and add more hot water if needed, just enough for the beans to be almost covered by the liquid at the top. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally and carefully.
Taste the beans. They need to be perfectly tender. When they are ready, add salt and pepper. Cover and let them simmer for another minute. Note: If there is a lot of water left, turn up the heat and cook them uncovered till the extra liquid is evaporated. You should have just sauce and no extra water remaining in the pot.
Taste and add more salt if needed. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top and serve.
You can serve this with chips (fries), olives and fresh bread. For non vegetarians/vegans, I would also suggest feta cheese, or alternatively, canned or cured fish. In both cases, an omelette is also an excellent side dish. As you see in this photo, you can also enjoy it with meat (e.g. sausage, beef burger or meatballs).
ENJOY! KALI OREXI!
HEALTH TIP! For added health benefits (and a more earthy taste), I recommend that you add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder to the stew together with the tomato. Stir well and add a generous amount of black pepper at the end to increase by 200% the absorption of the turmeric to your system. Turmeric is a medicinal wonder of nature and I use it in all my sauces, stews and in soups too. If you do a quick google search you’ll see why! It tastes divine, and that’s an added benefit. I can’t recommend it highly enough for your cooking. Just beware of any spillage while you serve the plates – a sauce containing turmeric will leave a yellow stain if it touches your kitchen counter and is not wiped clean immediately with a wet sponge. If you spot the stain later, use baking soda and a drop of washing up liquid to scrub the surface clean with a sponge.
Do you add turmeric in your cooking for the health benefits? How about putting it in a drink?
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