Ladera (literally translating to “oily”, vegetable dishes cooked in copious amounts of olive oil), are some of the healthiest and most delicious dishes of the Greek cuisine. They’re made with seasonal vegetables or beans, and usually served with feta cheese and bread.
One of the most popular ladera dishes is fasolakia, or green beans. When they’re not in season, you can still make them using frozen beans. But remember not to skimp on the extra virgin olive oil – it’s what makes the ladera, ladera.
Preheat your oven to 140°C.
Heat 50 milliliters of the olive oil in a wide pot, and sauté the green beans for about 5 minutes, stirring as needed with a wooden spoon.
Add the onions and sauté for another 3-4 minutes, until they have softened somewhat.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
Pour your beans into a Dutch oven or an enamel roasting pan with a lid. Add another 200 milliliters of the olive oil and stir.
Cook, covered, for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until the beans are soft. Remove the lid and cook for another 10 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Sprinkle your beans with the mint, and let cool for half an hour. Then strain and serve, drizzled with the remaining uncooked olive oil.
This recipe was previously posted in Greek at ekathimerini.com.
1 kg green beans
300 ml extra virgin olive oil
500 g ripe tomatoes, grated, with all their juices
300 g onion, pureed
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
leaves from 1 bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped
Salt and freshly grated pepper