Dairy free, Gluten free, Lathera (Greek Vegetable Casseroles), Sides, Vegan, Vegetable Main Courses, Vegetarian

Greek Style Green Beans-Fasolakia Lathera

Greek green beans

I love lathera! Lathera as I’ve mentioned before, are a whole category of Greek recipes where vegetables are cooked in olive oil and tomato along with herbs. We eat this as a main course along with bread and feta cheese. I would say that this is the secret weapon of the Greek diet, it is why Greeks consistently have the highest intake of vegetables (per person) in the world. These dishes are very filling, because you basically consume about 4 servings of vegetables in one sitting, plus the olive oil provides satiety.

You probably will have guessed this, but lathera are very healthy. Not only are they a vegetable based meal, they are rich in fiber, antioxidants, good fats, vitamins and they are cheap. One serving does not cost more than 2 dollars.

And yes, they are easy to make. Lathera are made with seasonal vegetables. For example in the winter a typical dish is cauliflower, in the summer green beans and okra are very common. But lathera are perfect for the summer, especially as the warm weather has us craving vegetables rather than meat.

We may not all have the time to find and clean fresh vegetables, so frozen can work fine. And if you do not have fresh tomato, you can use crushed tomatoes (look for BPA free containers).

This particular recipe is a classic. Green beans stewed in olive oil and tomato. Some people make them plain, others add potato and carrots as well. It is very easy, but the secret to making it delicious, is the olive oil. Do not -I repeat- Do not, try and make this with a few teaspoons of olive oil, you will need 1/3 cup of olive oil per one pound of vegetables. Just to understand the importance of olive oil in these dishes, the word “lathera” means “the ones with the oil”. Not adding the olive oil will result in watery green beans that will taste bland. Olive oil helps bring out all the flavors and make this dish feel rich. You may be worried about calories, but remember that this is a main course and the rest of the ingredients pretty much have minimal calories so the result is a moderate calorie dish.

Greek Style Green Beans-Fasolakia Lathera

Greek green beans
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Tender cooked green beans with potatoes stewed in tomato and olive oil.
Course: Dessert, Entree, lunch
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword: Green Beans
Servings: 2 mains or 4 sides
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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Ingredients

  • cup olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1 medium potato sliced (1/4 inch thickness-cut in half)
  • 3 medium tomatoes grated or 12-15 ounces chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • fresh pepper

Instructions

  • In a medium pot, heat olive oil at medium to low heat. Sauté onion until soft.
  • Add potatoes and heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add beans and mix until covered with the olive oil.
  • Add the tomatoes, parsley, sugar and salt and pepper and mix.
  • Add hot water just enough to half cover the beans.
  • Simmer with the lid on for about 40 minutes (do not boil).
  • The beans are ready once there is no water left and the beans are soft.
  • Enjoy with bread and feta cheese
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Greek green bean casserole

Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

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107 Comments

  • Reply James Rapa October 11, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Love it… But you need to eat with with feta… That is a must.5 stars

  • Reply Kathleen Lerchenmueller October 15, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    OMG……I made this last night to have as a side to my grilled chicken and it was delicious!!!! Even got rave reviews from my veggie hating husband who wanted seconds. My plate was 2/3 of this and 3oz of grilled chicken that I had marinated in lemon juice and olive oil……..SUPER DELICIOUS and will be one of my regular go to’s for green beans. I added some sliced carrots as well and may have added a bit too much water, but it was very yummy and not watery at all, more like saucy. I cannot WAIT for your cookbook to be available….in the meantime, I’ll just have to rely on getting my yumminess here.5 stars

  • Reply Rachel Grogan November 6, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    The recipe calls for grated fresh tomato; how in the world does one grate a tomato??? Thanks, can hardly wait to try it!!!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN November 7, 2020 at 7:47 am

      Hi Rachel,
      It is easy : slice off a thin slice from the bottom part of a tomato and grate using the largest wholes of a grater. Continue grating until you only have the skin left. You can also find canned grated tomatoes.

  • Reply Jackie Price November 11, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    I made this and it was delicious. I just used canned tomatoes and I switched out the potatoes for mushrooms instead. I served it over farro with feta cheese garnishing the top. Yum!

  • Reply SV January 3, 2021 at 4:49 am

    I’ve made this 5+ times now this past year. Delicious! Also, yes. Feta & crusty bread make it a meal in and of itself! Thank you!!5 stars

  • Reply 21 Day Mediterranean Diet Challenge Day#3 | Olive Tomato January 7, 2021 at 10:19 am

    […] Greek Green Beans (Fasolakia) […]

  • Reply Jermaine January 8, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    This was so easy and healthy, I cooked 2 eggs over it for breakfast, was amazing. I am blessed with a farmers market store, and they have it all, looking forward to eating more veggies. I live to alone love to cook. It is like the Italians way a bit, which I am, great love Olive Tomatoe.5 stars

  • Reply Tess January 22, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    Fabulous! I omitted sugar and added minced garlic when cooking the onion in olive oil. Served with Feta and my homemade whole wheat-flaxseed bread. Yummmm5 stars

  • Reply Wendi February 3, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    We are trying to eat foods more aligned with Mediterranean way of eating and I saw this pic on Pinterest and thought it looked so comforting and it did not disappoint! Just had a big portion with bread and feta like you recommend and it was a delish and filling meal. Gonna look now to find more of lathera recipes.

  • Reply Katja February 21, 2021 at 7:41 am

    This is a fabulous recipe! It quickly became one of my go to weeknight dishes. I cook it with green beans, or with peas, or with cauliflower. Depending what we fancy. The method is the same. Served with halloumi or feta. Everyone loves it, and i cook enough for the following day too. Win, win! Thank you for this!5 stars

  • Reply Stewart March 21, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    I had to leave a comment on this recipe. I have visited Crete at least three times and I have missed it sorely during the pandemic. This simple recipe brought back so many memories, and made me so happy duroing this difficult time, so thank you for that!

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