Photograph ©Peter Broadbent
Papa G’s Greek Bean Casserole (Fasolada) is simply wonderful, full of taste, hearty and healthy too!
Made up of tomatoes, olive oil and dried beans: the proud harvest of many a country family in Greece, it’s perfect for all the family (my kids love it).
Some people actually consider Fasoladato be the national dish of Greece; it is certainly a staple diet in many homes as it’s economical and healthy. Why not try it, Papa G style?
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500g dried haricot beans
2 litres water
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 stalks celery and celery tops, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced (optional)
2 ripe tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped or 400g chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat parsley, roughly chopped
Soak the beans overnight in cold water. Rinse them well and put them in a large saucepan with enough water to cover and boil for 10 minutes. Drain them and just cover again with hot water. Bring them once more to the boil and skim any foam from the surface with a spoon. Add all the other ingredients, except the lemon juice and simmer for about one and a half hours, until tender. Add more water if needed during cooking to make sure all the ingredients are just covered. Squeeze the lemon juice 5 minutes before taking it off the heat but don’t stir in.
Pour into soup bowls/ small dishes, garnish with chopped parsley on top and serve with crusty bread or koulourakia (sesame seed rings available at continental shops), olives or salted anchovies.
Often served at the Olive Greek Restaurants in Leeds as a special.
Recipe ©George Psarias.