Fasolakia (Green Bean and potato stew)

OPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA…

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Wow! after an almost month-long hiatus, I am finally back! You must be wondering where I have been? Well nowhere really! I was just busy growing a baby in my last month of pregnancy and now enjoying every moment with my beautiful son Samuel Kabir. I am sure now you will pardon me for leaving you wanting some lip smackingly delicious recipes.

I won’t blabber on with too much of a story because you never know when my sleeping dragon will awaken and demand to be fed. So without further ado check out today’s vegetarian recipe which is inspired by the beautiful mediterranean flavours and comes from Greece. I know right just when you thought the Greeks were all about lamb.

Around our travels in Greece I did struggle as a vegetarian but only until we got to the beautiful island of Crete. Here I discovered loads of simple, quick and lip smackingly delicious vegetarian dishes and Fasolakia is just one of them. A beautiful green bean stew cooked in a rich tomato sauce topped with loads of feta and olive oil. I have also added some potatoes to make it a bit hearty. Aaahhh!!! Gotta love that.

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Ingredients: 12     Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

  • 250 gms green beans, ends trimmed
  • Four medium potatoes, cut in quarters
  • 400 gms of crushed tomatoes (I used canned)
  • One large brown onion, finely chopped
  • Three to four pods of garlic, finely chopped
  • One cup of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Quarter cup of fresh dill, chopped
  • 100ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • Two tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Salt to season
  • One teaspoon sugar
  • Goats Cheese or Feta Cheese to garnish (optional)

In a heavy based pot heat three tablespoons of olive oil. Add onion, garlic and two tablespoons of chopped parsley and one tablespoon of chopped dill. Cook until the onions are translucent and the mixture is aromatic.

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Add the crushed tomatoes and cook until a layer of oil surfaces on the top. Now add the potatoes and cook until slightly tender. Then add the beans, followed by the remaining herbs, lemon juice, three to four tablespoons of olive oil, sugar and season with salt as required.

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Now add one cup of water and cover the pot. Let the potatoes and beans simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Remember the beans in this dish are meant to be soft and mushy so don’t fret if you happen to leave it longer that 20 minutes to simmer.

Fasolakia is ready to serve, garnish it with crumbled feta or goats cheese, drizzle some olive oil on top, add a wedge of lemon on the side and serve this lip smackingly delicious stew with some chargrilled sourdough bread. 

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Cretan Omlette

One bite and you may find yourself in Greece…

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During my travels around Greece I was completely floored by the fresh ingredients, simple flavours and effortless cooking of the locals. The Mediterranean diet is definitely one to reckon with, principal aspects of this diet include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products.

Today’s recipe comes from the island of Crete in Greece. I relished this beautiful dish almost everyday for brunch while I was in Crete. This beautiful omelette is a perfect dish for weekend brunches or mid week dinners, easy to make and so full of flavour – you may just be teleported to Greece with one bite.

Ingredients: 7   Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

  • Six eggs
  • One zucchini, finely sliced
  • One onion, finely sliced
  • Two green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled feta or goats cheese
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt to season

In a bowl whisk the eggs and keep aside.

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Heat olive oil in a non stick frying pan. Add the onions and green chillies and cook the onions until they are translucent. Now add the sliced zucchini and cook until soft.

Transfer the onion zucchini mix into the bowl with the beaten eggs and give the eggs a good whisk.

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Add the egg mixture back into the pan, rotate the pan in a circular motion to spread the eggs evenly. Lastly, add the crumbled feta or goats cheese.

Cook on a low to medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes until the omelette is cooked. I like my omelette a bit runny but you may choose to cook it through completely.

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If you are serving this omelette for brunch you can serve it with a side of some crusty bread and if you are serving it with dinner, a simple green salad will be a great accompaniment.

I hope you enjoy this dish, I find myself teleported to Greece just writing this recipe up for you.

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