Gigantes Plaki - Greek-style baked large white beans with greens
Gigantes in Greek (without sounding like the guy from my big fat Greek wedding) literally means giants. And that is what your cooking with in this dish — giant white beans like Lima or butter beans baked in a tomato based sauce.
This is a perfect side or a meal in itself. At a greek restaurant you will find it in the ‘meze’ or small plates section and goes wonderfully with pita bread/regular crusty bread and feta and with an extra drizzle of EVOO to sop up the beautiful sauce they cook in. The sauce is flavoured with fresh herbs and I love adding in some greens so I added kale to this recipe which can be replaced with spinach or any other greens.
It’s a great vegetarian and vegan dish option if your cooking for such diets
It’s a great vegetarian and vegan dish option if your cooking for such diets. I sometimes add carrots and celery to it too. For a non vegan/vegetarian option you can also add in sausage as well. It’s so good and I can eat it really anytime of the day. In fact, I ate it today with a fried egg and toast for breakfast and my belly was very happy. So delicious and full of flavour and it’s beans and tomatoes and greens after all so not only is it tasty but so good for you too!!
I like mine warm but it can be served and eaten hot out of the oven or cold. This is totally a Greek classic and one of my favourites to eat!! Hope you give it a try and definitely let me know what you think!
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
2 cans rinsed and drained or 2 cups of dry large white beans like Lima or butter (see below)
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1 can of diced tomatoes or 4-6 chopped fresh tomatoes
1⁄4 cup of olive oil
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1⁄4 cup of water
1 cup chopped kale
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch of cinnamon (optional)
1 pinch of sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a medium sized pot heat up olive oil and add the onion and kale and sauté until onion is soft then add the garlic, mint, parsley, paprika, oregano and sauté for another minute
Pour in the crushed and chopped tomatoes, water, cinnamon, sugar and let simmer for 8-10 minutes
Add in beans and cook for a few minutes stirring gently to coat beans with the sauce then pour the whole mixture into a prepared baking dish
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Beans with be tender and bubbling and top layer with be lightly browned and crispy.
** if using dry beans soak in cold water overnight and then rinse and drain and simmer in a large pot of water covered for approx 1 hour or until soft throughout but not fully cooked. Drain them and then they are ready to use in the recipe above. They will cook through fully when they are roasting in tomato juice. ( I used canned because I could not find large dry white beans)