Monday, June 4, 2012

Gigantes Beans: A new summer favourite

I have long been looking for a recipe to re-create the giant baked beans that often grace Greek-inspired tables. I discovered last weekend that I actually have everything I need in a cookbook on my shelf: Greek Cookery. A friend brought it back for me from Greece, but I'm sure there are similar ones out there.

Here's a nice simple way to prepare beans, which, along with a Greek salad and some fresh bread, make a beautiful meal on a hot summer day:


1 lb. dried lima beans (the bigger, the better)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tomatoes, fresh or canned, chopped
Handful of parsley, chopped
3/4 c. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight (or however you like to prepare beans--I often don't soak them, but just cook them longer. Since lima beans are so big, I did soak these before cooking) in water to cover 3 inches. Drain, fill with fresh water and cook beans for an hour, or until soft. Drain the beans and let dry out in the strainer for a while. Spread the beans in a 9"x13" baking pan.

Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a pan. Add onion, garlic, tomatoes and parsley. Bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over the beans and bake at 350F for 20 to 30 minutes, until the onions are soft and the liquid is bubbling in the centre.

Serve as an appetizer, or as a light dinner with Greek salad and fresh bread to sop up the juices.

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