We do not know which historical nor other facts spell it out, but most Greek dishes are made up entirely of vegetables. Some historians, thus, claim that in the past, refrigeration was hard to come by; meat was slaughtered only for special occasions such as Easter or Christmas. Nowadays, even with the availability of freezers and refrigerators, the Greeks still don't consume much meat. As a matter of fact, from what I have seen from my friends and co-workers, I would say that they only eat meat 3 or 4 times a week.
In any way, Greek main dishes are just a preference of taste. So many of the Greek vegetarian disches are so hearty that they are a whole meal, alone. All that makes Greek vegetarian disches a great ethnic choice for those trying to follow vegetarian way of life.
You like the idea of including Greek vegetarian disches into your everyday diet, but do not know what to start with? Why not try preparing a light but at the same time nutritious meal, called fessolatha. Among the Greek vegetarian disches a certain place is taken by Fessolatha (pronounced fah-so-LAH-thah).
According to food historians, fassolatha has been around since ancient Greek times. It is one of the national Greek vegetarian dishes, representing the best of the Greek way of cooking: legumes, vegetables, herbs, and olive oil. Whether you make it with tomato or lemon, culinary tradition dictates that fassolatha must be served with crusty bread, feta cheese, and black olives.
Ingredients of the most popular of Greek vegetarian dishes include white beans, which must be rinsed, soaked 24 hours and drained, bay leaves, carrots, sliced or cut in chunks, large mild onion, celery, tomato, olive oil and seasonings.
Place drained beans and bay leaves in a large soup pot with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reducing the heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. After that, remove bay leaves and add carrots, onion, 4-8 stems of wild or cutting celery (or 5-6 stalks of celery) with leaves and stalks, and simmer for 1 hour longer. Seed, chop a plump tomato and mix it with salt, pepper, and olive oil, and cook for 30 minutes or so- the main goal of yours is the beans become soft and creamy, but not to the point of disintegrating. That is the very difficult point in preparation of all Greek vegetarian dishes- to tell the very moment, when continuation of cooking process can do nothing good. In this way, you are quickly to remove example of Greek vegetarian dishes from heat, add seasonings to taste, and serve in bowls. Drizzled it with olive oil and sprinkled with chopped parsley.
Greek vegetarian dishes, especially this bean soup is served warm or at room temperature but in no way cold.
To make "white" fassolada (without tomatoes), leave out the tomatoes, cook as above, and just before serving, stir in the juice of one lemon. That one of Greek vegetarian dishes is not a puree type of thick soup, but should not be watery.
But any of Greek vegetarian dishes, even perfectly cooked, will lack their ethnic color if not to follow some serving suggestions. Particularly fessolatha is served with a side of feta cheese sprinkled with pepper and oregano and doused in olive oil, crusty bread, black olives, and salty dishes like anchovies, smoked herring, or others of your choice.