National Dish of Cyprus – Fasolada
|dried white beans (navy beans / haricot beans)||2 cups|
|virgin olive oil||7 tbsps.|
|tomato paste||2 tbsps.|
|carrots (sliced into coins)||3|
|spring onions (finely diced)||3|
|cloves garlic (crushed)||2|
|ripe tomatoes (seeded and sliced)||3|
|bunch parsley (finely chopped)||½|
|celery stalk (chopped)||1|
|Salt & Pepper|
Fasolada is considered to be the national dish of Cyprus. It is a bean and vegetable soup, cooked and served with plenty of olive oil. Fasolada is a dish that has its origins in Ancient Greece; it was a traditional soup dedicated to the Greek God Apollo and was cooked especially for the Pyanopsia Festival.
Directions for Preparing Fasolada
- Soak the white beans in cold water for twelve hours (12:00).
- Rinse the beans.
- Fill a saucepan of water, turn on the heat and add the soaked beans.
- Place the lid on the saucepan and boil the beans for fifteen minutes (0:15).
- Drain, discard the water and set the beans aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a non-stick soup pot.
- Sauté the finely chopped onions and crushed garlic in the olive oil until soft.
- Add the ripe tomatoes, carrots, and celery.
- Stir together and add the tomato paste.
- Add the beans to the pot.
- Add the bay leaf.
- Pour in the lemon juice.
- Pour in adequate water to cover the ingredients.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and cook on high heat for five (0:05) minutes.
- Reduce the heat, cover the pot and let the soup simmer for two (2:00) hours.
- Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary.
- Adjust the cooking time if needed and turn off the heat when the beans are tender.
- Ladle into serving bowls.
- Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, then top with chopped parsley before serving.
Cyprus is also well known for its desserts, including lokum (also known as Turkish Delight) and Soutzoukos. Fresh vegetables and fruits are common ingredients. Frequently used vegetables include courgettes, green peppers, okra, green beans, artichokes, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and grape leaves, and pulses such as beans, broad beans, peas, black-eyed beans, chick-peas and lentils. The most common fruits and nuts are pears, apples, grapes, oranges, mandarines, nectarines, medlar, blackberries, cherry, strawberries, figs, watermelon, melon, avocado, lemon, pistachio, almond, chestnut, walnut, and hazelnut.