Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Green Beans with Tomato Sauce (Fasolakia)

One thing that extremely surprised me about my husband’s cooking is the use of lots of olive oil. His olive oil consumption is about 500ml per week. This is equivalent to mine for a few months.
“It has to be Greek, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil,” my husband, whose native country is Greece, said and poured plenty of olive oil on meat, fish, vegetables, breads and even many of the Japanese dishes I make.

Fasolakia (or baby green beans in English) is one of the typical Greek summer dishes and requires lots of olive oil. Usually, I try to use less olive oil than my husband wishes. But for this dish, I do not hesitate to use tons of olive oil. Green beans match with tomato sauce and olive oil flavor very well.

Although green beans are a very popular summer vegetable in Japan, I did not know they are very nutritious food. Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin K, which prevents blood clotting, osteoporosis and oxidative cell damage. They are low in calories and very healthy food.
Fasolakia is usually served with feta cheese or anchovies. If you would like to try in a Greek way, cut down the salt in this dish and enjoy it with salty anchovies or feta cheese!
1 lb green beans
1 chopped onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
3 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional: 3-4 chopped potatoes

1. Wash the green beans well. Cut off both ends. If they are too long, cut them half. If they have strings on the sides, remove the strings.
2. Heat 3tbsp of olive oil and the garlic in a large pot. Add the chopped onion and fry them until they become transparent. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaf. Add the green beans and the chopped potatoes (optional). Season the mixture with salt and black pepper and simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes until the green beans become soft.
3. Add the 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve this with feta cheese!

1 comment:

  1. This fasolakia recipe looks awesome, I love it with fresh tomatoes.