A Yia Yia’s authentic green bean recipe provides comfort in 2020
I yearn for a Slow Travel vacation in Greece. I fantasize about staying a week in a sea side neighborhood, the sun baking down on my head, strolling down from my hill top villa passing by white washed buildings centuries old. Anticipating a meal prepared with ingredients harvested that day. Scanning the choices and deciding on a Mom and Pop cafe, I choose the one with the brightest smiles. No matter what they’re serving it will be delicious.
When I think of Greek food Fasolakia always pops into my head first. Always on the menu at traditional Greek restaurants, I absolutely love the depth, freshness, and blends of beans, tomato, and herbs. This recipe calls for braising the green beans, a slow cook technique that immerses and blends the flavors over time. Braising keeps the moisture and flavor locked in with a lid and temperature above a simmer but not quite a boil. It compliments fish, lamb, or chicken. At home I make it with chicken.
Actually, braising should be 2020’s Top Pick cooking technique. Slow cooking just about anything fills your home with the scent of love and comfort, like what Grandma used to make. Fasolakia is the perfect braised dish for cold days spent indoors. Sautéed onions with green beans getting to know tomato paste, chicken broth and fresh herbs in one pot. Developing a relationship over time, soaking up each other’s ambience. Lifting the lid to inhale the flavors is the perfect break in between meetings. The flavors melding together, it’s Santorini in my kitchen. Bringing me to a far away little island…someday on a slow travel stay.
The original Fasolakia recipe came from my daughter’s friend, Lauren Kavathas’ Yiayia. Like many Grandma’s, she doesn’t use measuring spoons. Instead she uses her hand and taste buds. This is her Braised Fasolakia recipe that compliments Greek Style chicken. The dish has plenty of broth that loves to be smothered over orzo. The first time we tried it I knew it would make it into my Nourished Life’s notebook of delicious recipes.
Lauren ‘s Yia Yia’s Braised Fasolakia Recipe
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ – 1 pound of fresh green beans, stems cut off
1 cup Chicken broth
1-2 T finely chopped fresh parsley
1 t dill
½ can of tomato paste mixed in a small bowl with 1/3 cup of water
Sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent.
Add enough broth to cover the beans, (but don’t add the beans yet)
Add 2 pinches of pepper, the parsley, dill, and tomato paste to the broth
When it begins to boil, turn the heat to low and add the beans and cook ‘til tender (about 30 minutes, longer if you want them softer)
For Roasted Chicken with Greek Spices
1 whole roasted chicken with the inside removed
1 whole lemon cut in half
2 or 3 sprigs of each, fresh parsley and oregano
For the paste rub:
¼ cup of olive oil
1-2 T of Greek spice mix (I use Canvenders)
Kosher coarse salt
Set the oven temperature to 350
Combine all of the ingredients for the rub paste in a small bowl
Place the chicken on a roasting rack inserted into a roasting pan
Place the lemon halves, parsley, and oregano inside the cavity of the chicken.
Open the skin and cover the chicken with the paste. Drizzle the skin with olive oil and rub with coarse salt. Lightly sprinkle more Greek spice mix over the chicken.
Place in the oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches 160-165. Remove from oven and tent with foil and rest for 5 minutes before carving.