Greek Gigantes Beans

gigantes.jpg

These are great for a little snack to fill you up. Whatever’s left works as part of a meze platter too. I’m all for a bit of versatility. They take a bit of planning but the dish itself is pretty easy to make.

RECIPE:

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups dried lima beans
5 medium tomatoes (diced)
1 large onion (quartered and sliced)
2 medium carrots (diced small)
1 stick celery (diced small)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon honey
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
olive oil
salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:
The night before, cover the beans with water by about 5-6 inches. Pop a teatowel over and soak overnight.
The following day. Drain the beans, place in a pan and cover by about 1 inch. Bring the water to the boil and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Drain the water and rinse the beans.
Place back into the pan and cover once again with water, by about 3 inches. Bring to the boil and simmer gently between 25-45 minutes depending on the size of the beans. They should be soft and creamy inside but still hold their shape. Retain 1 cup of the cooking liquid, drain the rest and set the beans aside.
In a large lidded pan, heat some oil (about 4 tablespoons) over a medium heat and gently fry the onions, carrots and celery for about 20 minutes until golden. Add the garlic, oregano, coriander, honey and tomatoes together with about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Simmer the sauce for about 15 minutes until the tomatoes have broken up and the sauce thickens. Carefully stir in the beans and cook for a further 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to your taste. Remove from the heat. You can adjust the thickness of the sauce by adding more of the reserved cooking liquid if you like.

SERVING:
Serve hot with fresh crusty bread. Or serve cold as part of a meze platter.

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