Greek Baked Giant Beans – Gigantes
This traditional Greek dish will surprise you. Humble baked giant beans that give a complex, creamy, and sweet flavor cooked in a unique Mediterranean way.
- 1 pound (500g) dried giant beans or large lima or butter beans
- 5 cups (1.200ml) water or vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 6 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 big onion, chopped
- 8 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- 6 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cups (400g) fresh tomatoes or one can chopped tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste, dissolved in water (optional)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Fresh pepper to taste
Soak dried beans for at least 8 hours. Drain, raise them and put them in a pot. Pour the water and boil over high heat. Remove the white foam that usually surfaces on the top of the water. Simmering time varies from half an hour to one hour. Check your beans to be soft but not overcooked (see the photo above). Reserve 3 cups of the cooking liquid.
Preheat your oven to 200°C (392°F).
Layer cooked giant beans in a baking pan (I used a round one) and add the rest of the ingredients with 2 cups of liquid from boiled beans. The liquid should cover all the beans because they are going to be cooked in it. Place the baking pan in the middle of the oven and don’t cover it.
Stir gently 1-2 times and add more liquid if you want sauce with your beans. Bake approximately for one hour until beans are soft and golden brown.
Sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley, crumbles of feta cheese and serve with crusty bread and a glass of white wine. Drizzle more olive oil if you like.
Serve hot or cold.