This dish smells of summer! Fresh green beans, in a sauce made with fresh, red tomatoes, garlic, parsley and mint! It is also an excellent vegetarian dish. You could use frozen beans, but believe me, it just doesn’t taste the same. In Greece, there is a special category of meatless dishes, using vegetables called ‘ladera’, because they are cooked using olive oil. These dishes are popular in summer, when lunches and dinners are light owing to the heat.
Ingredients 1 kilo fresh green beans ½ cup olive oil 1 large onion chopped 2 – 3 potatoes 2 cloves of garlic sliced ½ cup parsley chopped 2 tablespoonfuls mint chopped 3 ripe tomatoes chopped or grated (or 1 can chopped tomatoes) Salt, pepper.
Top, tail and remove the ‘string’ that runs along the sides of the beans. Nowadays, you will seldom find these strings. Wash them well. Peel the potatoes, wash them and cut them in quarters.
Put the oil in a pot and add the onion. Sauté for a few minutes, just until translucent. Add the beans, the potatoes, the garlic, the tomatoes, salt and pepper. There will be enough water from the vegetables, but check now and then to prevent them burning and if necessary add half a cup of water. Cover the pot and simmer for about 30 – 45 minutes, depending on the beans and how big the potatoes are. Check now and then to see if they are done. Before turning off the fire, add the parsley and the mint. Toss gently. Taste and adjust the seasonings. There must be a little sauce left.
You should accompany the beans with feta cheese, as it is a match made in heaven, olives and fresh crusty bread.