• Nikki Glekas

Fasolakia | Easy and Delicious Braised String Beans

Updated: May 5


I make Fasolakia, or green beans with tomato and potatoes a lot during Lent because it is hearty and healthy. It’s a great side dish that’s very filling and still warm enough for the spring season. It’s not specifically considered a dish for Lent, it just happens to fit well into our menu this time of year. I was psyched to make it for this episode because it is something you can make all spring, summer, and fall, especially while there are lots of beans growing in your garden!

Like most Greek dishes, the origins of this dish is that it was made with vegetables most people grow in their gardens in Greece. Buying the ingredients at the grocery store is not expensive either. In fact, you’ll see here that I use beautiful heirloom tomatoes I happened to spot during a shopping trip, but you can really use any variety of tomato you can find. And if you can’t find good fresh tomatoes, simply use a jar of crushed tomatoes from the pantry.

The key to getting this dish cooked perfectly is making sure you add just the right amount of water. If you don’t have enough the beans will stay a little too crisp. If you add too much, they will get too mushy! The starch from the potato acts as a thickener so as the beans simmer the liquid becomes a lively tomato sauce with soft pieces of potato throughout. It tastes bright and fresh, and the beans are cooked to a perfect al dente so there is just the right amount of texture in each bite.

Throughout the year I often serve this alongside fish, grilled chicken, lamb, or even Greek burgers. It really goes with everything and is a fun way to serve vegetables. If you have green beans growing in your garden, I highly recommend using them, the fresher the ingredients the better!



FASOLAKIA

This delicious green bean dish is made with stewed tomatoes and potatoes. I love serving it as a side dish with fish, chicken, or lamb.


Makes 6 Servings

Timing: 10 minutes prep, 40 cooking

Equipment needed: large food processor


Ingredients

24 oz. Green Beans, I use haricot vert

¼ cup olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, thin sliced

3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

3 vine-ripened tomatoes, pureed

2 medium potatoes, cut into 1’’ pieces

2 tsp sea salt

½ tsp black pepper

1 ¼ cup water


Instructions

  1. In a large pot, add the olive oil, garlic, onions, and potatoes and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion and garlic is fragrant.

  2. Add the string beans to the pot and stir to fully coat the green beans in your oil. Let them cook for about 2 minutes.

  3. Add the pureed tomato to the pot, and mix well to combine.

  4. Once combined, flatten the string bean mixture in the pot and add the water to the pot to ensure that the string beans are about 3/4th of the way submerged. This will ensure there is enough liquid for proper braising.

  5. Finally, sprinkle the pot with your pepper and salt, gently mix to combine. Once the liquid is boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pot to cook for about 40 minutes.

  6. To ensure the dish is ready, test the doneness of the potatoes with a fork. You’ll notice that the braising liquid has really thickened from the starch of the potatoes.

  7. This dish is best served warm. I sometimes like to top it with feta.

  8. Enjoy!


Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT. She is currently operating with COVID-safe procedures and is happy to discuss your event and catering needs with you. To discuss further please contact team@nikkiglekasevents.com or call 203.658.8659.

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