With a barbeque planned for Wednesday night I set out to satisfy my craving!
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
- 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.