Fasolia (tomato-spiced green beans)

The first time I tasted fasolia I dissolved into mouthgasms. The secret? Enough garlic to kill an army of vampires! Fasolia is great as a light meal with bread, but even better as part of a Middle Eastern feast, with Lebanese cauliflower, falafels, and tabbouli, and mopped up with a generous chunk of piping hot flatbread.

Here’s how to keep your dinner guests coming back for more…

Flavour: Savoury & slightly spiced

Serves: 4 as a side dish or light meal


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion (any kind is fine), finely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced (see here for how to mince garlic to a puree)
  • 1 kilo green beans, topped and tailed
  • half teaspoon salt
  • chilli (choose how much depending on your taste – I like just one bird’s eye chilli to give it a little pep, but keep it subtle)
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped (see here for how to peel a tomato)
  • enough water to cover the beans
  • generous sprinkle freshly ground black pepper
  • drizzle of olive oil (just for finishing)

Optional extras:

  • Quarter cup chopped parsley (if you’re using this, stir it in at the end)
  • Seeds of one cardamom pod, crushed (if you’re using this, add it along with the chilli)


  1. Fry onions in olive oil until translucent
  2. Add garlic, stir in, and cook for another minute
  3. Add the beans, salt and chilli, stir well, and cook for a further 3 minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes, stir well, and cook for a further 3 minutes
  5. Cover mixture with water, bring to the boil, and then turn down heat to medium
  6. Simmer for 10-30 minutes (duration depends on your taste – some people like the beans just tender while others prefer them well-done to the point of falling apart – you may need to add more water if you cook it for longer)
  7. Your fasolia is done when the liquid has reduced and thickened and the beans are tender
  8. Finish off with a generous sprinkle of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, and serve with fresh, warm flatbread

5 thoughts on “Fasolia (tomato-spiced green beans)

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