FASOLAKIA FRESKA ME ANTHOGALA
Anthogala, which is what the original recipe calls for, are the billows of cream that float atop fresh milk. Its Greek name translates as “milk blossom”; the French know it as fleur de crème. In the U.S. the best substitute is heavy cream. I found this recipe in a collection of old regional Greek dishes, and it surprised me because cream in any form is not something Greeks traditionally cook with.
- 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1. Heat the olive oil in large casserole or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook the onions until lightly golden and translucent, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the beans, season with salt and pepper, toss to coat with the oil, and cover the pot. Keep the heat low so that the beans steam in the hot oil for about 10 minutes.
2. Add enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch, cover, and cook until the beans are very tender, practically limp, which is how Greeks like them, and most of the water has evaporated, about 30 minutes. Add the cream to the pot, toss to coat the beans, and continue cooking, with the cover askew, until the cream has thickened. Serve hot.