Fasolakia Lathera: Greek Green Bean Stew
Fasolakia is a vegan green bean stew with potatoes and tomatoes that brings summer in Greece to your plate. Typical of Greek cuisine, fasolakia is an easy, simple, healthy, and delicious comfort food. The full name of this dish is actually Fasolakia Ladera me Patates (Φασολάκια λαδερά με πατάτες). Fasolakia (the emphasis is on the “la”) stands for green beans, me means with, patates are the potatoes, and Lathera describes the preparation method, namely an oily tomato sauce. Let me show you how to easily cook the best and so tasty Greek green beans and potatoes (and if you like with vegan feta on top, mmmh) …
“Lathera” (actually Ladera, but in English mostly written with th) means “oily” and is typical of traditional Greek cuisine. Lathera dishes are vegetable dishes that are cooked in plenty of olive oil in a pot (or a larger pan) or braised in the oven.
You start by stewing onions in the best (Greek) extra virgin olive oil. Then there are fresh tomatoes (I also add tomato paste as Austrian tomatoes are never as full of flavor than the ones who saw the Greek sun), and vegetables. In the case of Fasolakia these are green beans and since we cook the “me patates” version, potatoes are also added. Also, some water, herbs (thyme, oregano, bay leave, and I also love to add a bit of chili), of course salt, and pepper, and at the end of the cooking time more olive oil.
Incidentally, in winter I usually use canned tomatoes and frozen green beans. Not in the spirit of fresh Greek cuisine, but believe me: better that way than no Fasolakia at all!
The ingredients and the preparation are very simple and easy, but by no means quick, because the vegetables always simmer comfortably – typical Greek “siga siga” (slowly, slowly, just don’t stress).
I know this method of preparation from other dishes, like the mixed vegetable stew “Briam”, I’ve eaten okra (also called lady fingers) cooked like this before or the beloved Greek giant beans “ Gigantes” (I linked my recipe, which I once posted on Instagram).
If you ask yourself what to serve with Fasolakia, then you could add bread and vegan feta cheese. That’s how lathera dishes are usually served. I add feta when I happen to have made a vegan feta cheese myself. The bread, preferably white bread, is a must, because it is used to suck the oily tomato sauce off the plate and enjoy it together. Else, nothing more is added, because Fasolakia is a main course in its own.
This blog is still quite young, but the Greek spinach rice spanakorizo, the spinach strudel spanakopita, the vegan feta, and also a vegan tzatziki are already a part of here. As you can see, I love Greek cuisine.
If you are also such a big fan of the Greek cuisine, then also take a look at my Instagram page. There you will also find the previously mentioned giant beans Gigantes. Also, the most delicious fava (a kind of Greek hummus) and a vegan option for Avgolemono, an incredibly good soup made with orzo, chickpeas, lemon and tahini.
In any case, have fun cooking and “kali orexi” – bon appétit!
Did you try this recipe?
I would love to see the result. Please do not forget to tag me on Instagram: @plantbased.redhead.cooks
Fasolakia Lathera: Greek Green Bean Stew
- 10 tbsp (Greek) extra virgin olive oil (see notes)
- 1 large onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 400 g (14 oz) fresh tomatoes (or tomato pieces from a tin)
- 300-400 g (11-14 oz) potatoes
- 1/2 cup of water (see notes)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Black pepper
- 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp thyme (fresh or dried)
- 1 bay leaf
- 500g (18 oz, approx.) green beans
- vegan feta (optional)
- Finely chop the onion and garlic, cut off the ends of both sides of your green beans (and cut them into two parts, if they are very long), peel and cut the potatoes into smaller pieces, and also chop your tomatoes.
- Heat 8 tbsp olive oil in a bigger pan or pot and add the onions.
- After a minute or two, add the garlic. Fry a bit more until the onion pieces turn translucent (both shall not turn brown).
- Then add the tomato paste, and tomato pieces, and stir.
- Next, add the potatoes and water (the potatoes shall mostly be covered). Also add salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and the bay leaf. Cover and let it cook for about 15 min.
- Now add the green beans and let everything cook for 20 more minutes. Stir in between and check if more water is needed. It shouldn't swim in water but it shouldn't be completely dry, a little bit of sauce is what we want.
- When the beans and potatoes are nicely soft, switch off the stove and add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil.
- Serve your Fasolakia with white bread (to soak it with the delicious oily "Lathera"), and if you like, some vegan feta (on top).
- That’s a Greek dish, don’t be greedy with olive oil!
- Use less water if you use frozen beans, start with 1/4 cup, and add more water only if needed.