I feel embarrassed that I have never posted this dish before. Although this is a staple dish in all Greek households and I cook it very often, I have somehow forgotten to post about it.
Fasolia (phaseolus lunatus) gigantes, meaning «giant» are similar to elephant beans, lima beans or butter beans, but if you can find Greek beans from Kozani they are the best Greek variety.
This vegetarian dish is baked in a delicious tomato sauce until the beans absorb all the juices and flavour. It can be cooked in advanced and it only improves with time. Leftovers can be served as an appetizer.
The traditional way of cooking them in Greece are in deep, round, fired clay or earthenware casserole pots, called gastra. However, they can also be cooked in any casserole dish, a sauting pan with a lid suitable for the oven, a Dutch oven, a crock-pot or even in a baking tin covered with aluminium foil.
If you ever visit Greece, this is a dish you should not miss as you can easily find it in most restaurants.
When I found out about the event Kopiaste to AWED: Greek, hosted by Experiments, Emotions, Experiences with food, and created by DK of Chef in You, I took a look at the recipes I have not posted yet and I thought this is the most characteristic Greek dish I could participate at this event.
Gigantes Plaki sto Fourno (Giant Baked Beans)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time:1 hour 30 mnts boiling / 1 hour 30 mnts in the oven
Serves: 4 – 5
- 300 grams Kozani gigantes beans
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and blended or 1 can of whole tomatoes (500 grams)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/3 cup white dry wine (optional)
- 1 cup of parsley, finely chopped
- 1 -2 stalks celery ribs, finely chopped
- 3 big carrots, finely chopped
- 1 big potato (cubed) optional
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon thyme honey
- ½ teaspoon of chilli pepper (optional)
- 2 cups water
Soak beans in plenty of water, overnight.
Drain and add fresh water and bring to a boil and remove any froth with a slotted ladle. Drain them again and add fresh water and bay leaves and bring to a boil, add salt, lower heat and simmer until almost cooked (about 1 hour and 30 minutes) and then drain and discard the bay leaves.
- Preheat oven to 200o C / 400o F.
- Heat olive oil in a sautéing pan and sauté onions and garlic until translucent.
- Add chopped celery, carrots, potato, fresh oregano and beans and mix.
- Add wine, honey, tomato, salt and pepper and water and mix. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Cover the sautéing pan and place in the oven or transfer into a casserole dish with a lid and bake for about 1.30 – 2 hours, until the beans are soft and the sauce is thick, mixing once, after an hour has passed.
- Remove from the oven and mix in the parsley.
Have a lovely weekend and Kali Orexi!