Fasolakia Freska (Greek Green Bean Stew) – Gluten-free (Vegan option)

by Beth @ Tasty Yummies

Fasolakia Freska (Greek Green Bean Stew) - Gluten-free (Vegan option)

This is a traditional Greek dish that many different people in my family have made for my entire life. My Great Yia Yia (Yia Yia is Greek for grandmother), in my opinion made it the very best, I still think of her any time I smell this stew cooking. I can still remember exactly how her kitchen always smelled and just how it felt in there. There is something about the smell of this stew cooking that reminds me of her unlike any other smell can remind me of anything else in the whole world. I am not sure if it was actually this way, but in my mind I swear she had to always have had always something like this, or one of her other stewed green concoctions, cooking on the stove at her house. I swear it always smelled like this. She passed away when I was 12, so my memory is likely not exactly accurate, but that is how I like to remember it anyway :) My dad’s mom, my Yia Yia, also used to make this stew and my Dad and my great Aunt Marge still make it. Even though it is a little different based on who makes it, I absolutely love it every single time. It is one of those dishes that I am not sure anyone in our family has an exact recipe for and I doubt that they ever really measure(d) as they add things. I think it is just made based on what how your own family makes it and then you just taste as you go. That is how I make it.

Fasolakia Freska (Greek Green Bean Stew) - Gluten-free (Vegan option)

When we were kids on our birthday as a special treat, my parent would have us request whatever meal we wanted, and they would make it for us. I really don’t recall anything else that I would consistently ask for besides fasolakia, almost every year that was my pick. I think my parents probably thought I was insane. What child requests a vegetable based meal when they can have whatever they want only one meal a year? THIS ONE DID!!

This dish can be made either with meat or vegan, my family usually makes it by cooking it low and slow for many hours with a quickly braised bone-in cut of lamb, but I have also had it without meat and it is still very good. I do think that the meat brings a nice depth of flavor and it adds a lot more taste and flavor with the extra fat. Most times they would pull the bones out just before serving so it isn’t a meat stew by any means, you may get a bit or two or stay meat, but generally it is just for the flavor. This stew may not look like much, but while it’s humble appearance it really packs a punch in the flavor department.

I didn’t have any lamb on hand, but I did have some beef spare ribs in the freezer from our cow share that we got from Sojourner Farms. Since the spare ribs are a fatty cut with a lot of flavor but not a lot of meat to really savor, they were perfect for this. I am not sure exactly how large the package of spare ribs were, maybe 2 lbs or so, it was three small sections of ribs.

I will apologize in advance for the lack of photos with this post, I hadn’t exactly planned on sharing this recipe when I started cooking it. However, when I had mentioned on Instagram and Facebook that I was making it, a handful of people requested the recipe, so I decided I would. My measurements in this recipe won’t be exactly accurate or perfect since I definitely didn’t measure as I went along, AT ALL. But you will get the general idea of the flavors that you want and you can taste as you go to make this exactly how you wish, (you may want to add more or less of something). This stew is great as a side dish with a large meal, or in my opinion it is a wonderful meal on it’s own. Just spoon the saucy stew in a bowl, with some fresh parsley and fresh ground black pepper on top. Maybe some crumbles of feta cheese and a serving of your favorite crusty gluten-free bread. It is absolute heaven in a bowl and it is for me the most comforting kind of comfort food there is.

Fasolakia Freska (Greek Green Bean Stew) - Gluten-free (Vegan option)

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shirley @ gfe September 18, 2012 at 7:11 am

Wow, I’ve never heard of this stew before, Beth. It looks and sounds wonderful! I love that your grandmother was your Yia Yia. That sounds so sweet and loving. :-)

xo,
Shirley

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2 tastyyummies September 18, 2012 at 11:58 am

Hey Shirley – thanks, it is definitely a classic dish in many Greek families, but not as widely known as say souvlaki our baklava. So delicious!

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3 Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free September 18, 2012 at 10:08 am

I think I would definitely eat this on its own…maybe with a side of socca?

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4 tastyyummies September 18, 2012 at 11:59 am

Oooh I love the idea of serving it with a side of socca! So brilliant! Thanks Alex.

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5 Rosie September 19, 2012 at 4:29 am

Hi
Am I one lucky sheila or what! I am soooo pleased to come across your blog,
You are so awesome I loooove your recipes. A huge thankyou for sharing
these wonderful healthy recipes. I come from a land down under lol always wanted
to say that (Western Australia) and a fitness freak at that, with a small health problem that I will get on top of! I’am going to cook all your recipes, again molto graze!

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6 tastyyummies September 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Hi Rosie, wow gosh you are gonna make me blush, what a lovely comment, thank you! I am so glad you are enjoying my blog and my recipes, it makes my day to hear that.
Thanks for taking the time to comment and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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7 Kim September 19, 2012 at 8:29 am

Wow I have never seen anything like this, but what perfect timing, I have more green beans than I know what to do with. I will definitely be making this sometime this week. Thank you!

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8 tastyyummies September 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Kim, please let me know what you think of it if you make it. I seriously love this dish so much! Thanks!

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