Phasolakia (Φασολάκια) means green beans in Greek, and it is also the main ingredient of this recipe. The steamy, hot dish consists of green beans, potatoes and squash, all cooked in a delicious tomato sauce.
Both George and I have grown up with fasolakia, but it’s different from island to island, in terms of how the Greeks prepare the recipe and what they put in. Originally based on George’s mother’s recipe (which has been passed through generations) but along the way, George has found his very own style in cooking it.
Here you have the recipe for green beans Greek style – a perfect vegetarian dish with amazing flavors.
For about 4 servings:
- 750 grams of baby potatoes
- 800 grams of green beans (2 bags)
- 2 large courgettes
- 2 medium red onions
- A good handful of fresh parsley
- 4 cloves of garlic
1 canned tomato paste (140 grams)
- 1 package / can of chopped tomatoes (400 grams)
- 1.5 dl olive oil
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- A little (Greek) oregano
- 2 tsp. salt
- Pepper to taste
- 5 bay leaves
- 1.5 liters of water
- A little vinegar
- Maizena flour as needed
Preparation time: Approx. 20 minutes.
Cooking time: Approx. one hour.
For this recipe, you basically slice all of the essential ingredients before putting them all into a large pot. Use a 3-4 liter saucepan or larger. When all the ingredients are in the pot, then it’s time to turn on the heat and start cooking.
- Start chopping the onions really well. Use (if necessary) a mini food processor. Put the onions in the pot.
- Use a garlic press and squeeze four cloves of garlic into the pot.
- Rinse the green beans and cut off the ends. Then cut them in half before putting them on top of the onions and garlic.
- Rinse the baby potatoes thoroughly and let them either remain whole or cut them in half. Add them to the other ingredients in the pot.
- Rinse the two courgettes and cut the ends before cutting them in half, and then in half once more (longways). When you have eight pieces in total, cut them all into smaller pieces of approx. 2 cm thickness.
- Chop the parsley very fine and add to the pot.
- Add a whole packet (or a can of) chopped tomatoes as well as tomato paste.
- Add all the spices (salt, pepper, thyme, basil, bay leaves and Greek oregano).
- Add the olive oil and water.
- When all of the ingredients are in the pot (except for vinegar and Maizena), stir until everything is evenly mixed.
- Place the pot on the burner and turn on the heat. Start at the highest temperature.
- After 10 minutes, the mixture will begin to boil. Now you may add Maizena flour. Give the package a good shake so you get a decent amount of flour in the pan. It will give you a better texture and less water.
- After adding the Maizena, stir the dish again and turn down the heat a bit. (Put it on 6 on a 9-scale temperature, or on 4 on a 6 – or whatever’s right).
- Let the dish simmer with the lid on for another 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- After a total of 50 minutes (the first 10 minutes + another 40), taste the food. Add a bit of vinegar and possibly more salt if necessary.
- Turn down the heat and let the dish cook for another 5-10 minutes. The potatoes and beans must be soft without melting completely.
Serve the food warm, and preferably with a Greek salad on the side and crumbled feta cheese on top.