Friday, January 4, 2013

Fasolakia--Greek String Beans

When Yannis and I were first married we lived in the Valley of the Jolly Green Giant.  Minnesota has some of the richest farm land and grows some of the best vegetables in the world.  When I was growing up we had a garden that our family enjoyed eating from most of the summer, but when winter came we depended on the Jolly Green Giant for our canned string beans.  We would usually eat our beans with melted butter and of course, salt and pepper. If we were going to get really fancy, we would throw a can of cream of mushroom soup over them. Because there is nothing better than the flavor of fresh string beans straight from the garden, and no amount of fiddling with a can of string beans really does the trick, I am so happy that we can get fresh string beans year around in Greece.  Cooking them up with tomatoes, parsley and onion makes them one of the tastiest Greek
dishes.So good to be living on the mountain of the Jolly Greek Giant!

Fasolakia--Greek String Beans
3/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions
1 garlic clove (up to 4, according to preference), chopped
4 large tomatoes
1 1/2 teas. sugar
2 llbs. fresh string beans, cleaned and trimmed
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Heat oil in cooking pot, saute the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes, grate the tomatoes into the casserole. Add the sugar, string beans, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.Add enough water to cover the string beans-maybe a half of a cup.  Cover and let  it simmer for 45 minutes; uncover and cook 10 more minutes to thicken the sauce.  Traditionally this dish is served at room temperature  as a main dish.  I have also added a diced potatoe and thinly sliced carrots to this recipe. This is also the perfect sauce for okra. Serve it up in bowls with feta , crusty bread and white wine.  Kali Oreksi!!

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