From all the dried legumes, in Greece, fassolada (and NOT fassoulada, which is the way the peasants used to call it), is a hearty navy beans stew (or soup if you like) and is considered to be the national food of the Greeks.
In the stew (or soup) various vegetables such as carrots, potato and celery are added and cooked in a simple tomato sauce. Greek food is simple and the only spices used in this dish is salt and pepper. All its flavour comes from the olive oil used in all Greek dishes.
According to the principles of the Mediterranean Diet, we should eat dried legumes at least three times a week in order to benefit from its health effects.
No cholesterol – Low in sodium – High in dietary fiber – Very high in vitamin A – Very high in vitamin B6 – High in vitamin C
Calories per serving: 350
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- 250 grams (8.8 oz) navy or other white beans
- ½ cup of olive oil
- 1 big onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped (optional)
- 3 carrots, sliced is rounds and halved
- 1 big potato, cut into cubes
- 3 – 4 celery stalks, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 5 fresh tomatoes or 1 can of whole tomatoes with sauce, blended with 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Freshly grated black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 organic vegetable bouillon
- 2 cups water
- Soak the beans in water from the previous night.
- Drain the water and place the beans in a pot with fresh water. Boil for a while and remove any froth which arises. Drain once again.
- In a pot heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, spices and mix. Add the tomato, blended with the tomato paste and the vegetable bouillon dissolved in hot water. Add more water if needed to cover it and make it soupy.
At this point you can either continue cooking it on the stove top or transfer it to a «gastra» (similar to Dutch oven) and continue baking it in the oven. Bake for two hours in a preheated oven to 200oC (400oF). After half an hour, mix and discard the bay leaves and continue cooking until done.
- If you wish to continue cooking it on the stove top, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until soft, for about an hour and a half, mixing regularly. Add more water if necessary.
- After about an hour, remove lid and cook uncovered until the sauce thickens.
This and many more meatless recipes are included in my cookbook «More than a Greek Salad», available on all Amazon stores.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,