03 May 2010

Gigantes



My sister has been wanting me to try this recipe for Greek-style baked beans for the longest time.

I am so glad I did!  It's amazing.  It's gorgeous.  It smells heavenly.  Luscious soft beans and succulent chunks of tomatoes scented with fresh dill and savory garlic bits, topped by a layer of crispy golden bean skins and tangy speckles of crumbled feta cheese.  So now, I am wanting you to try this recipe!  In my sister's words, "you have to try this recipe, it's sooo good!"


Traditionally, this dish is made with Greek gigantes (γίγαντες), but dried giant Lima beans are a whole lot easier to find.  The giant beans are so fun to eat!  And the whole thing is really easy to put together (just make sure you plan ahead in soaking the beans overnight).  Served with some crusty bread and a green salad, this is all you need for a simple, tasty, and healthy supper loaded with fiber, protein, and iron!  Or, you can scale down the recipe and serve this along with other meze as an appetizer course.

In all fairness to the olive oil devotees out there, I think I should add the disclaimer that the original recipe my sister gave me called for one whole cup of olive oil. (yikes!)  Even though she says it does wonders to the dish, I could not bring myself to add so much oil.  Of course, you are most welcome to add that amount, if you feel moved to do so, but I think you'll enjoy my own flavor-packed and figure-friendly version of the recipe that I'm sharing here today.



Greek Baked Lima Beans
Makes 8 servings

1 (16 oz.) package dried giant lima beans
1 (32 oz.) can chopped tomatoes with juice
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. concentrated drippings from a roast chicken (or reduced sodium savory broth concentrate)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
sea salt, to taste (about 1 tsp., if using unsalted chicken drippings)
3 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
2 oz. low-fat feta cheese, crumbled

Place lima beans in a large pot and cover with water (at least three times the volume of the beans).  Soak beans overnight.

The next day, bring beans to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Drain.  Add tomatoes (with juice), olive oil, chicken drippings, garlic, sea salt, and 1 tablespoon fresh dill.  Stir gently to combine ingredients and then pour into a 9 x 13 - inch casserole dish.

Bake at 375 F for 1 1/2 hours, pouring more water over as necessary if beans appear dry.  Sprinkle the remaining fresh dill and crumbled feta cheese over and serve!

5 comments:

Lazaro Cooks! said...

Beautiful dish. Love the flavor profile. And the use of the drippings. Cheers!

Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

Judee said...

I am always looking for new ways to cook dried beans. This recipe looks like a winner. I am your newest follower, # 100!! I hope you will visit my blog and follow me back.

pam said...

i just left a review of this dish on Tasty Kitchen but had to come and rave about it over here! What a wonderful dish! So much flavor yet such simple, accessible ingredients. I love this recipe! xoxox

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