Green Beans w/ Potatoes, Wine, Tomatos & Onions (Fasolakia me Patates)

Green Beans with Potatoes or ‘Fasolakia me Patates’ in Greek is a vegetarian village classic Eva (and other Greeks) grew up with. As with many of Eva’s dishes, this recipe requires only a few simple ingredients and makes a great meal or side dish. Keep in mind the length of time the beans need to cook depends on not only your beans, but also how soft (or crunchy) you want them, so be sure to sample them as this delicious dish is cooking.

Flat green beans
2 medium sized potatoes
1 cup crushed tomato or tomato juice
1 medium sized onion
1/3 cup of water
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 table spoon of salt
Pinch of pepper
1/2 cup of white wine

Cut the edges off the green beans and slice each down the middle leaving the ends still connected. If your green beans are narrow, there’s no need to slit them down the middle. In a separate bowl, peel the potatoes and chop them into fours. Chop the onion and fill a cup with either crushed tomato or tomato juice.

Preheat a large pot on the oven at a high temperature. Once sufficiently heated add 1/2 cup of olive oil. Allow the oil to heat up and add the chopped onion. Saute the onions slowly till they receive a light brown color. Once ready, add the beans to the pot. Cover the pot, lower the heat to medium and allow the beans to cook for roughly 5 minutes.

At this point add a table spoon of salt, a pinch of pepper and 1/3 cup of water. The water is necessary to allow the beans to precook before we add the tomato juice. Cover the pot and allow the beans to cook for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. During this time stir the beans periodically until the water has completely evaporated.

At this point add 1/2 cup of white wine, the potatoes and the crushed tomato (or tomato juice). Work the ingredients together and cover the pot. Turn the heat on the stove to low and cook the beans till they become soft. This should take approximately 20 minutes. That said, periodically come back stir the contents and test to see how the beans are coming along. When the dish is ready all the juice should have evaporated with only the oil remaining.

Enjoy!

Swiss Chard and Black Eyed Beans

Here is another wonderful vegetarian dish that uses only a few simple and healthy ingredients. Both Swiss chard and black eyed beans are rich in nutrients and very high in fiber. In Greece, this dish is usually eaten as the main meal, but it also makes a great side dish.

About 1½ cup of black eyed beans
Half a bunch of Swiss chard
1 medium onion chopped
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 cup of tomato juice
Pinch of hot pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper

Wash and strain the black eyed beans and place them in a pot of boiling water for about 5 to 10 minutes (the time really depends on the beans; some beans need longer than others).

Chop the Swiss chard into small cubes. Wash and strain the Swiss chard and place the leaves in a separate pot of boiling water for about 3-4 minutes.

Once the Swiss chard had finished blanching, remove the leaves from the heat and strain the water. Do the same with the black eyed beans.

In a medium sized pot, place the oil and onions. Over a medium heat setting, sauté the onions for about 2-3 minutes. Add the beans to the pot and stir for a few minutes. Add a dash of salt and pepper and, if you like a little extra kick, add a pinch of hot pepper flakes. After about 2 minutes, add the Swiss chard and stir. Add the tomato juice and 2 cups of water and stir well. Once the water has begun to boil, cover the pot with the lid and lower the heat. At a low heat setting, allow the beans and Swiss chard to simmer for about 45 minutes to one hour (while stirring periodically). The beans need to cook until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Makes 4 servings.

Gigantes/Yiyantes (Greek Giant Baked Beans)

This is a nutritious and wonderfully satisfying vegetarian dish. The name ‘yiyantes’ comes from the Greek word for giant (‘giant beans’). Yiyantes can be cooked a couple of different ways, and in this recipe Eva shows us how to prepare these giant beans in tomato juice baked in the oven (plaki-style).

3 cups of large lima beans (yiyantes)
½ cup of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 pieces of garlic, finely diced
1 cup of chopped carrots
1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley
2 cups of crushed tomatoes, or tomato juice
Salt and pepper

Place 3 cups of washed lima beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Allow the beans to soak in the water overnight. Drain the water and pour the beans into a large pot of boiling water and blanche them for about 5 minutes.

In a large pan, add the olive oil and sauté the onions. Add the garlic, carrots, salt and pepper.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

After about 5 minutes of boiling the beans, remove them from the heat and drain the water. Place the beans in a large pan. Add the tomato sauce to the beans. Add 4 cups of water and mix well to ensure the tomato sauce is evenly spread.

Allow the beans to cook in the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees.

Serve as a side dish or as the main meal. Enjoy!