Fasolakia, or steamed green beans, is a definitive Greek summer dish. An absolute favourite with adults, you will find fasolakia served in almost every taverna during the summer. Usually it’s a dish of the day. It’s also cooked on a weekly basis throughout the summer in most Greek homes.
Accompanied by a slab of feta cheese and a slice of fresh bread, this is is what Greek family food is all about. Especially in the hot summer months!
You want to make sure your fasolakia is fresh and springy. If you are buying fresh fasolakia, you then need to cut of the pointy ends from both the top and bottom. Then, using a knife or potato peeler, to also cut off the strings bits from the long sides.
If you choose to go for frozen green beans, then you don’t need to do any of this. We sometimes use frozen green beans but absolutely try to at least use fresh beans once a month during the summer.
Preparing the green beans is one of those tasks you can hive off to young budding cooks that may be getting bored during the school holidays.
Old-school homecooks use to serve a very minimal version of fasolakia, with just the beans, some onions, tomato and parsley. In the last few years it appears that the taverna version is also making its way on home tables. It includes potatoes and carrots and appeals more to small kids.
Fasolakia belongs to the ladera group of recipes. As a result it is best served a few hours after cooking and tastes good even at room temperature!