I am going to start off by stating clearly, that I make no claims to the authenticity of this recipe. I got it from one of my very first cookbooks, ever, when I was still in high school. “Greek Green Beans” is just what we have been calling it for years. The book is called A Little Greek CookbookCooking, Food & Wine References) and it was given to me by my mom as a gift when I discovered my love for Mediterranean cuisine. There are some great tasting recipes in there and I have been using it ever since.
I have been making this dish for about 20 years now! I have only eaten something similar in one Greek restaurant that was near my house growing up –Athens Grill, so maybe it is a regional dish? The restaurant was a family restaurant, owned by Greek immigrants from Athens. I loved their food so much and begged my mom to take me there often! We used to get gyro platters, or souvlaki served with Greek salad, pita bread and the best French fries ever. Sometimes we would eat at the restaurant, al fresco, on little wrought iron tables right off the parking lot. Other times, we would take it home to eat while watching a movie. I thought it was the best food ever. What I wouldn’t give to pop over there for lunch today!
In the cookbook, the name they give this recipe is Fasolakia Freska or Green Bean Casserole, in English. It is a simple recipe with a lot of flavor. I am making it tonight to accompany some pan seared fish. But it also goes well with chicken or beef dishes, and of course lamb. Sometimes I like to sprinkle feta cheese on it, and eat a large bowl full for lunch. This is a great recipe to double – and it is also one of those recipes that tastes all the better a day or two later. It has a large amount of olive oil in it – but don’t skimp on it – that is what makes this dish so rich and flavorful.
Normally I follow the recipe as is, but sometimes I might add Kalamata olives for bite, or pearl onions instead of the sliced onions, for pretty. You can also omit the potatoes, but that would be silly.
1 lb of fresh green beans, topped and tailed (I have also used frozen with great success)
1 large onion, finely sliced – or half a bag of pearl onions
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 cup olive oil
14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
This is not part of the recipe, but I usually add some oregano as well.
Slice beans in half, rinse and drain. Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil until pale golden. Add beans and potatoes and sauté together until well coated in the oil. Add the tomatoes and seasoning. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes or until beans and potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. If needed, add a little hot water to keep from burning. This can be served hot, or at room temperature.
Isn’t it fun trying something from one of your favorite restaurants? I thought so too.