Baked Gigantes Beans in Tomato Sauce

Baked Gigantes Beans in Tomato Sauce

A few weeks back, I decided to go out for an early dinner after bottling some top quality wine at Danny's Wine and Beer Supplies. My husband and I agreed to go to Mykonos Restaurant. The atmosphere is warming and cozy, the prices very reasonable, the staff friendly and attentive without being intrusive, and their extensive Greek menu has a number of tasty options for vegetarians. In addition to the fresh crusty bread you are served while you mull over what to order, the entrée are generous and filling, especially when served with a big bowl of lentil soup.

This visit, we opted to split the vegetarian platter that includes a sampling of phyllo-wrapped appetizers, some Greek salad, a stuffed vegetable with rice, and a tomato gigantes bean dish. Inspired by the meal, I resolved to make my own Greek meal.

Baked Gigantes Beans in Tomato Sauce

This was my first time cooking with gigantes beans. For those of you unfamiliar with the bean, they are a large white bean, roughly the size of your thumb and similar to a butter or lima bean. They can be purchased at Greek grocery stores. In London, Ontario, you can find them at Perfect Bakery.

On the menu with:

Greek Salad
Greek Tomato Rice

Baked Gigantes in Tomato SauceBaked Gigantes in Tomato Sauce
Recipe by
Cuisine: Greek
Published on January 23, 2008

Rich and beautifully seasoned Greek baked bean casserole

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Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups dried gigantes (giant lima) beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños or green chilies, finely diced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Instructions:
  • Rinse the gigantes beans and soak overnight covered in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, and transfer to a medium saucepan. Cover with several inches of fresh water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the beans are tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and set aside.

  • In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion and fry until it begins to brown. Next add the garlic and stir and fry for another few minutes. Now add the tomatoes, tomato paste, paprika, thyme, oregano, alapeños or green chilies, carrot, celery, parsley, the reserved cooking liquid from the beans, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about 15 minutes. Gently stir in the beans and transfer to a casserole dish.

  • In a preheated 350° oven, bake the beans until the top is browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 50 to 60 minutes.

Makes 6 servings

Baked Gigantes Beans in Tomato Sauce

10 comments:

Peter M said...

Gigantes are Greek comfort food and there are many variations to bake these tasty beans.

Treat them right (soak them) and you get a wonderful final result.

Mona said...

Hmmmmmmmmm, Looks too yummy !! :-)

www.zaiqa.net

Lisa said...

Peter;

Next time I am going to try a version using dill instead of the thyme and oregano.

Mona;

Thanks for stopping by :)

Laurie Constantino said...

Nice gigantes - I recently made them as well. On dill, I've tried making baked gigantes with dill, but I think the dill flavor gets lost in the tomato sauce and with long cooking and far prefer a thyme/oregano mix. I do, however, love gigantes boiled until tender, and then dressed with olive oil, lemon, minced onions, and lots of fresh dill. It's wonderful.

Lisa said...

Thanks Laurie. I appreciate your advice. Maybe the trick is to use lots of fresh dill with a hint of basil to enhance the flavour, along with some paprika and hot peppers?

Your olive oil, lemon, dill variation sounds wonderful indeed. Like I said above, this is my first time cooking with gigantes, but it won't be my last.

Jeena said...

Lots of lovely healthy ingredients Lisa it looks delicious. :-)

Laurie Constantino said...

I was thinking about this some more. To successfully flavor it with dill, I'd cook the tomato sauce and beans without herbs and then stir in fresh dill at the end just before serving. I'd use mint rather than basil and also stir that in at the end - for me the flavors of mint and dill are more complementary than basil and dill. I'd probably not use paprika and hot peppers with the dill version, but I always use Aleppo pepper in mine (posted recently on my website) which, like yours, is seasoned with thyme and oregano. Paprika, hmm. I know Peter uses a lot of smoked paprika in his cooking and that would probably be food in the thyme/oregano version, but for me I probably wouldn't in dill or dill/mint. But, hey, seasoning is such a personal thing - it's really whatever flavors make sense for you!

Lisa said...

Laurie;

Thanks for these ideas. I think you are right and the dill should be added at the end. I also like your suggestion of pairing the dill with the mint. As for hot pepper, I put those in virtually everything :) Yes, it depends on what flavours appeal to your palate.

Johanna said...

This looks great. I have found that Greek restaurants are so meaty that I usually avoid them but this makes me feel I should give them another try!

MapMaster said...

Re: the dill idea, I'm thinking about not using tomatoes at all but baking the beans in a thick lemon-yogurt-flour sauce instead. The dill ought to go perfectly in that.