Remembering Summer

Yellow String Beans

Susan's Red PotatoesWe are well into September now and it looks like we’ll be having a proper Autumn after all in Toronto. The days are getting shorter, the air is getting cooler and the leaves are already changing colour. Autumn is definitely in the air. As I look through my food photos of the summer I am reminded of the awesome growing season we had this summer. My parents’ vegetable garden was teeming with fresh, organic produce that we were able to enjoy early on in the season. One of my favourite dishes to make in summer is a traditional Greek dish – Fasolakia me Kota – Green Beans with Chicken – because the beans are crisp and sweet. This summer not only were my parents growing vegetables in their backyard but my good friend Susan Geary started growing vegetables at her Community Garden in Oshawa. One day while I was visiting, Susan was generous in sharing the fruits of her labour and gave me a bag od yellow string beans and red potatoes. Right away I thought of making Fasolakia me Kota. There is something to be said about cooking with ingredients that have been produced right in your backyard. The flavours and textures of the vegetables and fruits are so intense which can only enhance any meal. My Fasolakia me Kota were delicious and I can’t wait to reproduce this favoured dish next summer. Thank you Susan Geary for the beans and potatoes!

Yellow Beans with ChickenHere’s what you need.

2 lbs yellow string beans

4 to 6 medium red potatoes quartered

1 onion, diced

3 to 4 garlic cloves, diced

1 tbsp sweet paprika

1/2 tbsp mint

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cinnamon

4 chicken breasts

1/4 cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock

3 to 4 bay leaves



1 cup tomato pulp

3 cups of water

olive oil

1. First, roast the chicken breast separately before adding the vegetables. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Marinade the chicken breasts in the white wine, paprika, mint, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper while the oven is preheating. Place the chicken in a deep roasting pan. Pour in the chicken stock, sprinkle in the bay leaves and coat with 2 tbsp olive oil. Cover and roast for 30 minutes.

2. Keep a kettle of boiled water close at hand. After roasting the chicken for 30 minutes remove the breasts and place in bowl. Add the beans and potatoes to the pan and gently toss together with the pan juices. At this point I like to taste the pan juices to check for salt content. Potatoes need a lot of seasoning so if you feel that your dish needs more salt now is the time to add it. Also, you want to add 3 to 4 cups of boiled water and the tomato pulp so that the beans are well covered but not swimming. This will help in the cooking process. Return the chicken breasts to the roasting pan by placing them on top of the beans and potatoes. Reduce heat to 425 F, cover and a roast for 30 minutes.

3. After 30 minutes uncover the pan and check the juice content. If there is too much water in the pan continue roasting for another 30 minutes or until the excess water is evaporated. If the water content is half way up the pan then continue roasting for only 15 to 20 minutes. You want the chicken to have a nice brown colour on top and the beans and potatoes to crisp up a bit.

4. Serve with crusty bread or Greek pita. Don’t forget a bottle of refreshing white wine.




2 thoughts on “Remembering Summer

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