Gluten-free Greek Stewed Green Beans and Potatoes in Tomato Sauce (Fasolakia/Φασολάκια)
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A typical lunch in many Greek households when days are long and hot, this stewed green beans dish is one of the most delicious summer meals. Velvety potatoes with tender green beans braised in a tomato sauce and a good drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil.
As a kid I have many fond memories of my summers at my GiaGia’s (grandmothers) farm in Greece. One often being the simplicity of preparing ingredients in the morning; watching my mother and GiaGia sitting in the courtyard with a big bag of green beans on their laps, de-stringing the sides and chatting away.
It is a simple dish but packed full of flavour, and enjoyed both hot and cold. I’ve known this dish as far back as I can remember, and each family will do it slightly different. But the key is a rich tomato sauce and great quality extra virgin olive oil.
It’s often served as main with a slab of feta and gluten-free bread to mop up the sauce, or served as side dish to accompany roast meat like chicken.
800g flat green beans (fine green beans also work well), tops cut off, stringed if necessary, rinsed and drained
500g potatoes, peeled and cut into halves or quarters if large
1 large red onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
4 Tbsp Greek extra virgin olive oil
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato paste/ concentrate
4 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped, reserve 1 Tbsp for garnishing.
Lemon zest from 1 lemon, unwaxed and organic
250ml vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a wide/large non stick pan, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté the onion until soft on medium heat.
Add the garlic, and when you can smell it add in the tomato paste, lemon zest, potatoes, chopped tomatoes, stock, salt and pepper and combine.
Layer the beans on top of the potatoes and cover the pot with a lid, lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 35-40 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and add the parsley and 3 Tbsp of olive oil. Mix until everything is coated.
SERVE THIS WITH.
A drizzle of Greek extra virgin olive oil
Flat green beans - A good source of vitamin A, K, C, proteins and folate, flat beans boost your heart health by reducing the risk of iron deficiencies. Vitamin B and folate in this vegetable promote blood cell development, boost energy and keep your brain healthy as well. (Source)
Potatoes - are packed with nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and resistant starches which in particular is a source of nutrition for beneficial gut bacteria. (Source)
Red onion - nutrient dense, meaning they're low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals. Red onions are rich in anthocyanin, which are powerful plant pigments that may protect against heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes. (Source)
Garlic - contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and ageing, helps improve blood pressure, cholesterol and bone health. (Source)
Greek extra virgin olive oil - specifically Greek oil, has the lowest acidity (approximately 0.5%) and is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Benefits may include anti-inflammatory properties, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and improves bone calcification. (Source)
Parsley - provides a concentrated source of nutrients, particularly rich in vitamins A, C, and K. The vitamins and beneficial plant compounds in parsley may improve bone health, protect against chronic diseases, and provide antioxidant benefits. (Source)
Lemon zest - offers several antioxidants, including D-limonene and vitamin C, that protect your immune system and reduce your risk of disease. (Source)
HAVE YOU MADE THIS?
Many of my recipes call for Greek products like Greek extra virgin olive oil, Greek honey or Greek oregano. It is not mandatory for it to be Greek in order to make the recipe, you are more than welcome to use a good quality alternative; just keep in mind if you are after the authentic flavours of Greece these details do make all the difference in Greek cuisine. You can shop these ingredients here.
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Disclaimer: None of the health benefits listed are intended to diagnose or treat any pre-existing health conditions. Always consult a health care practitioner before making any health decisions. The benefits listed are from my own research and personal interest, and encourage you to follow the Source and do further research.