Athens, Greece, 1979. I’ve had a long day at the local beach with my cousins. We come home, eat some watermelon and have our siesta.
Around four pm we are woken up by the aroma of my Yia Yia’s cooking. It is the best smell ever, the kind that lingers throughout the house. I could hear her telling the dogs to get out of the kitchen while they were at her feet hoping for food to fall.
Us kids would sit around the table in the kitchen and eat, always with a salad, feta cheese, kalamata olives and fresh bread. These memories are the best memories of my life. My Yia Yia never knew this, but I am extremely grateful that she taught my mother how to cook these Greek dishes.
One of my favorite Green dishes is Fasalakia Freska. This is a fresh green bean and potato dish in a tomato sauce. When she cooked, she did it without measuring anything. She put her heart into all her cooking and her dishes became tastier the longer they sat in the refrigerator. I certainly can’t duplicate what she made but with practice I have come pretty close. It’s pretty easy to make.
Here is the recipe:
- 1 lb fresh green beans, topped and tailed
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
- 2 cloves garlic finely sliced
- 1 Cup olive oil
- 14 Oz can of tomatoes
- 1 Cup chopped parsely
- 1 Lemon
- Rinse and drain beans. Cut the tips off.
- Saute onion and garlic in hot oil until golden
- Add beans and saute for 15 minutes
- Cut the potatoes in quarter slices and add them to pan covering them with oil
- Add salt and pepper
- Add juice of one lemon
- Cook covered until beans are tender and potatoes are cooked (about 30 mins)
- Add water if needed
Fresh beans are the best. I got these from our local farmers market.
Garlic, lemon and onion are common ingredients in Greek food.
Olive oil is in EVERYTHING.
Parsley is also a common denominator in many Greek dishes.
Don’t forget to mix it up periodically while cooking.
This has to be one of my favorite dishes. I hope to share more with you. Enjoy.