Monday, April 20, 2015

Greek Green Beans by Tom


Green Green Beans by Tom

The proper Greek name for this dish is fassolakia lathera.  Vegetable dishes that are cooked with olive oil and tomatoes are referred to as lathera because the key ingredient is flavorful olive oil, or "lathi".  And the most popular of the lathera style dishes is prepared with green beans.  That is your "Greek" foodie history lesson for today.

With this being "Greek Food Month" on the food blog, I searched the internet for a vegetable dish and found this one on greekfood.about.com.  It is a green bean casserole with olive oil and tomatoes, but also incorporates carrots and potatoes into it as well.  It looked good, and it was good!

This takes about an hour and a half, so give yourself time to make this.  Most of the time is spent in the "cooking stage" versus the "preparation stage", so don't let that deter you from trying this recipe.

Top it off with some feta cheese, and you have a hearty Greek vegetable to serve with any other entrée companion...be it goat, beef, lamb, chicken or seafood.

       ---Tom

Greek Green Beans
(from greekfood.about.com)

Serves 8

1 pound cleaned and trimmed green beans
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic
2 medium potatoes cut into wedges
2 carrots cut into 1"' sections
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste
Feta cheese to sprinkle on top after cooking (optional)

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion and sauté until translucent.  Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the green beans, potatoes and carrots to the pot. 

Dissolve the tomato paste in the warm water.  Add that to the pot.
Now add the crushed tomatoes, parsley and sugar. 
Lower the heat to medium low and simmer covered for about an hour, or until the green beans and tender but not mushy.  Be sure to monitor your liquid levels while the beans are cooking.  If necessary, you can add a little bit more water.

In the last ten minutes of cooking, add the fresh chopped dill.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the contents to a serving bowl after cooking, and sprinkle with the feta cheese. 

This is a very flavorful way to eat your green beans!
    
       ---Tom

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