Monday, August 16, 2010

Make ahead~ Gigandes/Gigantes Plaki Recipe

The other day I made Baked Giant Beans (how can such a delicious dish have such a boring name?) for a winery event and talked briefly about it here.  However, although the beans went to the winery, I went to the beach... where I proceeded to dream of the beans until I decided I must make some to eat myself!

With a barbeque planned for Wednesday night I set out to satisfy my craving!
I made these beans on Tuesday for the Wednesday party because the flavors develop so well after a day or so, and I wanted to be out of the kitchen when our guests were here.

We just finished the leftovers Saturday night (cold, right out of the fridge), and they were still fabulous!

Gigandes Plaki (much more gourmet sounding than Baked Giant Beans, right?) is a Mediterranean dish associated with Greece... sometimes spelled Gigantes Plaki.  My recipe is inspired by Vefa's Kitchen Cookbook and my dear Greek friend, Tasoula.
Gigandes Plaki Recipe

1 lb 2 oz dried large lima (butter) beans
2/3 cup olive oil (the best you have:)
1 cup chopped onion (I used walla walla)
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 bay leaves
1 large can whole tomatoes with juice (you can use diced but really squish them by hand if you do)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
feta (optional)

  • Prepare lima beans according to package... I tend to do the quick soak because I like instant gratification.
  • After the soaking stage, simmer the beans until just tender (no mushy beans), about 1 hour... but sometimes less with the quick soak method.  Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.  Place beans in a large casserole dish.  I do not skin the beans.
  • In a large bowl crush tomatoes by hand.
  • Heat half of the olive oil in a pan over low heat, add onion, bay leaves and garlic, cooking until the onions and garlic are soft and translucent... about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add to tomatoes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and most of the parsley.  Mix thoroughly with spoon or hands and then pour over the beans; do not stir.  
  • Drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the top and then sprinkle the rest of the parsley around, and add some crumbled feta too, if you'd like.
  • Bake at 350F for about one hour, until the beans are tender and the sauce has reduced.  If necessary add some of the bean liquid while cooking... (I have never had to add the liquid).
  • This dish can be served warm or room temperature... or right out of the fridge as far as I'm concerned!  I sprinkle feta right before serving as well.

Try it in lieu of barbequed baked beans!  If you try it I'd love to hear...


Sherri B. said...

This looks and sounds delicious! Perfect for when it cools down a bit, with some good homemade bread perhaps. Thanks.

Marize said...

Hello Heather! The dish looks delicious, make my mounth water!
I will try to make it!
Have a nice day!

girlichef said...

Oh wow...these sound sooo delicious. Plus, they are absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing them with Two for Tuesdays this week =)

the clark clan said...

Hi Heather and welcome to the two for tuesday recipe blog hop! Glad to see all new bloggers on the hop so I can check out their "dream lives!" Very cool space and I am following your blog. I ADORE giant beans, my mom used to make these, but hasnt in a while and your recipe looks divine! :) Alex@amoderatelife

Butterpoweredbike said...

What a difference a name can make! I'm such a bean (and potato) lover. As you can imagine, my low-carb kick was a miserable affair. How could I have gone so long without their creamy comforts?!

I saw a bag of enormous dried beans at the latin market the other day. I wonder what kind they were. Now I want to race back and snag them so that I can cook this recipe.

Thank you for linking up with Two for Tuesday. I'm really enjoying your blog!

ButterYum said...

What a wonderful recipe. Great photos too!


black eyed susans kitchen said...

Love coming across a recipe that I have not heard of before..thank you it sounds delicious!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

A new name and a new preparation! I love butter beans and this sounds like a wonderful way to bake them.

Christy said...

I have never had butter beans - this sounds so yummy, I can't wait to try this! Thanks for linking this to Two for Tuesdays!