Fasolakia Ladera /Green Beans in Tomato Sauce…
When temperatures rise my mind travels to my homeland ,Greece…summer…and it’s flavours , and this stew is a greek summer staple. It is frugal,so simple to make , but utterly satisfying. The word ‘Ladera ‘ means ‘oily’ , and it is a term used with many dishes ,due to the generous amount of oil used in the recipe, so it is important to use good quality olive oil.
This was actually the first proper dinner I learned to cook as a teenager 30 years ago, and since then I have prepared this dish countless times and in lots of slightly different ways . But my favourite, go-to recipe is the ing :
Ingredients (feeds 4 x peeps):
•800 green beans ( I prefer the flat , stringless beans , as they are more tender , the do not require cleaning , and they absorb flavours quite nicely) •2 medium size onions , finely chopped•2 large potatoes , quartered or cut in large cubes• 2 large carrots , in thick slices•2 cans of chopped tomatoes •1 tbsp tomato purée •1 tbsp caster sugar• 2x veggie stock cubes •80ml olive oil +50ml for serving• 4 tbsp of chopped parsley • 4 tbsp of chopped dill• a couple of pinches of dried chilli flakes •salt & pepper
Heat up the 80ml of olive oil and in medium heat sauté the onions , carrots and potatoes , for 5 minutes , stirring frequently . Increase the heat to medium high , add the green beans and continue sautéing for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped tomatoes( I like to whizz them in the food processor for a few seconds , cause it help make a smoother sauce), tomato purée , sugar , stock cubes and pour enough water to cover all the veg. Give a good stir , bring to boil , and then let simmer , in a half covered pot , for 40 minutes. You then add the parsley , dill , chilli flakes , salt and pepper and simmer for a further 20 minutes , completely uncovered . When time is up , take off the heat and pour in the remaining 50ml of oil .
Serve it with feta cheese ( omit if ), and THE most important part is to serve lots of bread because you will not want to miss out on mopping up the sauce !!