Saturday, 28 May 2011

Gigantes Plaki: Greek Giant Baked Beans

You might have guessed that I've got a bit of a thing for Greek food. Gigantes are a type of Greek giant white bean, impossible to find so far North, but lima/butter beans are more than adequate for this recipe.

This would usually be made with fresh dill, but one day I couldn't find any fresh dill so decided to substitute dried dill. Use a really small bunch if you'd like to use fresh.

Gigantes Plaki
serves 2 as a main

700g gigantes or lima/butter beans, cooked (about 350g dried)
OR x 3 400g tins, drained & rinsed
500g tomato passata
2 stalks celery, diced
1 L onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
40ml/2 tbsp tomato paste
30ml/1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
1/2 t chili flakes
1 1/2-2 tbsp dried dill
1 S bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
150ml vegetable stock
olive oil, preferably Greek

Preheat an oven to 175°C/345°F.
Oil an oven dish approx 20 x 30cm, 6cm deep.
In a pan over med-low heat,
Sauté bay leaves, onion, garlic, celery in oil.
When onion is soft,
Add tomato paste, chili, vinegar, passata.
Stir well.
Cook 20 mins over low heat.
Add parsley, dill, stock, beans.
Stir well.
Check for seasoning.
Add to oven dish.
Cover dish with foil or lid.
Bake in oven 30 mins.
Uncover dish.
Turn up heat to 220°C/430°F.
Bake 15 mins or until top has started to dry out.
Try to remove bay leaves before serving.


  1. I love butter beans.
    The aesthetic element of the dish is very important to me, and these giants are impressing (oh, and taste great too). You don't serve with bread or pasta or anything?

  2. It's totally up to you how you'd like to serve it. I would probably go for serving it with some nice crusty sourdough bread ;) They're really good on their own and are quite filling though.