It feels so good to be writing this. These past few weeks have been filled with ups and downs. On the positive, we got engaged! On the negative, Jane was sick and as soon as she was better – I woke in the middle of the night with a 102.9 fever…Awesome…
Needless to say, I was down and out for all of last week. Jane was stuck taking care of me after her work day. I am happy to report however that after countless washings of bedsheets and pillows, spraying everything down with lysol, and drinking countless cups of Greek mountain tea, I am 100% again!
It comes in the nick of time, as my birthday is this Saturday, and it’s a big one. I turn 30. Yeah, I can’t believe I just wrote that. For some reason, the thought of me leaving my 20s has filled me with anxiety and reflection. I find myself stacking up what I’ve done with the first 30 years of my life. Some days I’m proud and others this overwhelming feeling like I could have, or should have, done more. At the end of it all, I will take being 30 in strides and embrace my new age with my head held high. One thing that is really crazy is the fact that I clearly remember my dad being this age, so yeah….
There is one positive that really stands out, I’ve never done this much reflection before nor have I planned so far ahead. I have a lot in store that I want to accomplish while I’m 30 (like get married!), more than any other age. We’ll see how it plays out.
But I digress, let us now turn to the meat and potatoes of this article, or rather the green beans and potatoes of this post ( ← was that a sly 30 something remark..oh man)
Fasolakia (Φασολακια) is an extremely popular dish in Greece. In the summertime, which is when green beans are in season, you can find this at almost every taverna. Since most people travel to Greece during the summer months, you should have no problem finding this dish.
In Greece Fasolakia is made with a different looking green bean than the one we have and that you would find in the store. In Greece, they use what is called an Italian flat green bean. It’s the same green bean we know and love, just flat and a bit wider, kind of like snap peas.
Moreover, it is usually served as a main meal, which is how Jane and I eat it (easy for a meatless Monday vegetarian night). However, you could serve this alongside a protein, it’s your kitchen so it’s your rules.
The potatoes that accompany this recipe are not traditionally found, though you may find a lot of places that serve it this way (we were not the first to think of adding them). Growing up, we had it this way, as I think it was to add a bit more substance to the dish since it was served as a main meal.
The potatoes soak up some of the tomato juice while the herbs blend in to create a perfect balance of flavor and tame the acid from the tomatoes. The green beans draw a bit of everything and perfectly deliver the unique flavor combination in just the right amounts into your mouth with every bite. And the feta, don’t even get me started on how amazing it is as a topping to add some saltiness to the dish. Mmmm.
If you’re looking for a great tasting vegetarian dish or just wanting to add a healthy side to a favorite meal, give Fasolakia a try!
As always, we hope you enjoy this dish. Let us know what you think.
- 1 pound green beans, ends cut and cut into thirds (or bite size pieces)
- 2 russet potatoes, skin removed and cut into small chunks
- 14.5 ounce can of petite/diced tomatoes
- 14.5 ounce can of water*
- 1 onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbles, more the better
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat.
- Add diced onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add pressed garlic, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add oregano, dill, parsley, salt, and pepper, mix well.
- Add potatoes, spread evenly.
- Add green beans, can of tomatoes, tomato paste, and can of water
- Taste and add more salt/pepper if necessary (or whatever you think is needed).
- Bring to boil.
- Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes or until potatoes and beans are soft.
- Remove from heat, plate, sprinkle feta over top.