Fasoulakia Salata (Green Bean Salad)

This recipe comes to us from the authors of several fascinating books on food philosophy, John Thorne and Matt Lewis Thorne. You can subscribe to their bimonthly food newsletter called "Simple Cooking". Find them online at "www.OutlawCook.com".

They write, "I just came across this recipe in Theonie Mark’s "Greek Island’s Cooking" while looking for the Greek salad variations. Her versions of those are fine, but my mind kept coming back to the green beans. So, I decided to give the dish a try. But, as always, impulse got the better of me and what I ended up with was entirely different from what I started out to make. It was also very good, if, as Matt pointed out, more Provencial than Greek. Here is my way."

Yield: Serves 4

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Fasoulakia Salata (Green Bean Salad) Recipe

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into batons
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, ends snips and cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive brine, optional
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 Greek black or Kalamata olives, add more to your liking
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • to taste, salt and freshly ground black pepper
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Preparation Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet with a cover. When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for three minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is translucent.

Add the potato batons (cut these to about the same thickness as the green beans) and stir gently until they are coated with the seasoned oil. Add the green beans, olive brine (if this is not displeasing), and water. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer. Cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, gently stirring every 5 minutes or so. Remove from the heat as soon as the potato batons and the green beans are tender.

Meanwhile, pit the olives and tear them into pieces. When the vegetables are done, turn them into a salad bowl and sprinkle them with the olive bits and red wine vinegar. (If you omitted the brine you may want a little more vinegar.) Let the salad sit for 2 hours, if possible, but at least until it cools to room temperature.

Just before serving, gently retoss, seasoning to taste with salt and black pepper.

Yield: Serves 4
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