Today marks the first day of the Holy Week for the Greek Orthodox Easter and traditionally in Greece this is a week that no meat, fish, milk, or eggs are consumed at all. Therefore, we will follow this week with dishes that have no meat or fish. There will be dairy products in some though...
For Good Monday we decided to cook fava beans. Before string beans were introduced in Greece, fava beans were common in our diet. They ended up being used less and less mainly because of people being scared to eat them, thus the title the deadly bean. Fava beans are known to be deadly to people who lack a certain enzyme in their body and because many people back in the old ages could not get tested to see if they didn't have the enzyme, they ended up seriously ill or even dead after eating them. So a fear against this truly delicious and full of benefits vegetable - if your enzymes are in check - made it less common in our cuisine. In my house we eat it every summer. It is my dad's favourite and he would actually complain when in its place my mom would cook string beans. When I was young I hated it because I was used to the sweeter taste of the string beans. But when I grew up I came to appreciate the kinda bitter taste that goes so well with the yogurt. Kostas likes it as well although he was unlucky and in his house they would never cook it since his dad was one of the people who lacked the enzyme.
They can be eaten warm as a meal with bread to accompany them or cold as a salad. Greek yogurt is, in my opinion, a must have with this dish. Helps break down the slightly bitter taste and comes in good contrast with the oily texture. Olive oil is the very important in this dish as this dish falls under the foods that Greeks call them oily or λαδερά. The reason why there is a lot of olive oil is because it is eaten with bread which is dipped in the oily sauce...drooling already like Tony! So please don't be afraid to use olive oil in this dish. It won't be the same if you don't...
We hope you enjoy this vegetarian dish.
Green fava beans
for more information on how to make the green fava beans please click here
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The Greek cuisine