Wow, is it already day four of our magical Week of Greek?! IT IS, and that means we finally get to see what I was talking about when I mentioned Greek foods swimming in oil 😀 And yes, we will need a nice loaf of bread for the fasolakia, the green beans stewed in tomatoes.
And speaking of tomato sauce, check out the Soutzoukakia from 2 Broke Vegans – Greek meatballs made vegan with walnuts and mushrooms – trust me, the combination is superb! After we make the green beans, I’ll give you another bulking-up idea using the meatballs.
So for the beans, we start with tons of onion to really pack the flavor into this one,
and season it simply with salt, pepper, and fresh parsley.
And there it is – Greek gold!
So slice up your favorite savory bread, preferably something rustic and crusty (yes, crusty is a good quality when it comes to bread!), and get ready to clean your plate.
Stewed Green Beans
2# fresh green beans, de-stemmed and cut or snapped into bite size pieces
1 C oil
2 C canned tomatoes*
3 to 4 onions, chopped
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
In a big pot, arrange two or three layers of onions with parsley, and beans on top. Add tomatoes, oil, salt and pepper. Cover pot and cook on low heat until tender.
This simple recipe could serve 8 as a side dish. And once again this is very similar to a Syrian dish, we serve the Syrian version over rice – that could stretch it to a main course for 6. Syrians also add meatballs, so by adding the soutzoukakia to the pot (after baking them) you can have a meal for 8 to 10! Add a side of Lahanosalata and you’re in business with another budget-friendly meal that just so happens to be vegan and gluten free.
The recipe is great as-is, but I did add double the tomatoes, and there are a couple other ways you could mix things up with beautiful results.
-Instead of layering onions & beans, saute the onions in the oil. When tender, but before they brown, add remaining ingredients.
-Add 2 Tbsp tomato paste to the canned tomatoes to make a nice sauce
-Remove the lid on the pot for the last 15 minutes of cooking to let some of the juice from the beans cook out and reduce the sauce
In Thessaloniki there was a beautiful little 15th century church nestled in between towering apartment buildings and storefronts covered in neon graffiti. I walked around it taking pictures,
and suddenly my brother and I found ourselves at a little restaurant, ΤΑ Κουμπαρακια, which turned out to be our favorite restaurant in the city – we ate there three times!
There we had the most wonderful fasolakia, cut lengthwise with little bits of eggplant in the sauce. I can’t tell you how often I sit and dream of the day I’ll be back in Thessaloniki, sitting at my favorite restaurant, next to that lovely little church. But this will have to do for now.
What’s your dream vacation?