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Fasolakia Lathera Greek-style Green Beans cooked in olive oil.


Greek Cuisine.Fassolakia Lathera. Green Beans in Tomato Sauce
Greek Cuisine.Fasolakia Lathera.
 Green Beans in Tomato Sauce

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Greek cuisine?

Yes, I know what you’re going to say:

“Souvlaki, MOUSSAKA, tzatziki, dolmades (Stuffed vine leaves).

Souvlaki, moussaka, tzatziki, dolmades (Stuffed vine leaves) are all great Greek dishes, but, what is the basic, essential ingredient?

Olive oil, liquid gold, the healthiest of vegetable oils, it’s the mainstay of every Greek kitchen.

When I found myself living in Greece in the 70s, olive oil was quite alien to me, well, it would be wouldn’t it? I’m from Yorkshire!

 I have to say I didn’t care for it, I would try my hand at Greek cooking, omitting the key factor; the oil!

Greek Olive Oil Liquid Gold
Greek Olive Oil
Liquid Gold

MGG’s (My Greek God) question, when sampling my efforts at following his mother’s recipes, was inevitably;

 “Did you put olive oil in?”.

My answer “No” (He knew anyway, he didn’t need to ask) was met with much rolling of the eyes and twitching of the mustache.

Gradually, I came to accept it, I had no choice, olive oil is in absolutely everything, it was a case of eat it or starve!

Now, I’m sure a day doesn’t pass, when I don’t reach for the olive oil bottle, I use it like there’s no tomorrow, on and in everything, a glug here, a glug there, yes, that’s how I measure it, in glugs, “fassolada” (Bean soup), three glugs;  glug glug glug, that’ll do!

Well, I was certainly glugging away today; I made “fasolakia”, runner beans cooked in olive oil, one of the Greek “Lathera” dishes.


Green Beans Photo Kankana Saxena
Green Beans
Photo Kankana Saxena

The Greek word for oil is “lathi” and these vegetable dishes are oil-based, olive oil of course.

Traditionally, “Lathera” dishes are eaten in summer, made with fresh, seasonal vegetables, but they can be made in winter, using frozen vegetables, as I did today.

So, put your pinny on, grab your olive oil, and “Pame” (Let's go)


Fasolakia Lathera. Green Beans in Tomato Sauce

Ingredients for 4 – 6 people

Ingredients for fassolakia lathera. Green Beans in Tomato Sauce
Ingredients for fasolakia lathera.
 Green Beans in Tomato Sauce

1 kilo Green beans (Fresh or frozen)

200ml Olive oil

1 kilo Potatoes (Peeled and cut into cubes)

1 400gr Tin chopped tomatoes or 250 gr passata

2 Onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 bay leaf

Salt & pepper

Method

Greek Cuisine.Fassolakia Lathera. Green Beans in Tomato Sauce
Greek Cuisine.Fasolakia Lathera.
 Green Beans in Tomato Sauce

Put olive oil in a large pan, heat and add chopped onions and garlic, sauté for 5 minutes.

Add tomato, stir well, add approx 250 mls hot water, the green beans, bay leaf, cubed potatoes, and salt & pepper to taste.

Mix well, bring to the boil, lower heat and simmer for 1 hour, or until potatoes are soft and sauce had thickened.

Not difficult is it?


Greek Cuisine.Fassolakia Lathera. Green Beans in Tomato Sauce
Greek Cuisine.Fasolakia Lathera.
 Green Beans in Tomato Sauce

Serve with crusty fresh bread, feta cheese and a few Kalamata olives, and why not open a bottle of delicious Greek wine?

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