I LOVE Greek food. If you leave out that delicious fried cheese and fried zucchini, Greek cuisine can actually be quite clean. The food is cooked in greek olive oils, tomato based sauces and lots of fresh herbs. My favourite part about going to Greek restaurants is those Gigantes Plaki beans. Those massive beans cooked in a dill tomato sauce is the perfect accompaniment to fish/chicken/beef and is actually delicious on top of veggies.
It was time I finally recreated this recipe in my own home- and I’m so happy I did. I have been eating these protein packed beans alongside all my meals these days. They are super satisfying and they add lots of flavour to generally boring dishes. Having trouble getting those raw veggies in? Throw some beans on them!
• 4 1/2 cups (about 3 cans) well rinsed gigante beans (canellini or butter beans work well too!)
• 1 yellow onion (finely diced)
• 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
• 1/4 cup greek olive oil (other olive oil will be fine!)
• 5 medium tomatoes (1 can of san marzano tomatoes will work too)
• 3 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 cup chopped dill (divided)
• 2 tbsp water
• salt and pepper to taste
• hot sauce or chilli flakes (optional)
If using fresh beans…
Start by soaking the gigantes beans overnight in water. Rinse well.Then place the gigantes in a large pan or pot with cold water, enough to cover them, add a pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes, until tender but not too soft. Drain and set aside.
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Pulse tomatoes in a food processor until chunky. Don’t over process.
3. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan or deep oven proof skillet. Sauté onion with a pinch of salt until translucent and soft. Add garlic and saute for another minute.
4. Add your crushed tomatoes to the garlic and onion. Add tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes.
5.Taste your sauce, make sure its to your liking then add your beans. Add 1/2 cup fresh dill. Toss until beans are well coated and transfer to a roasting pan if your skillet/pan is not ovenproof.
6. If you find your sauce is too thick, add 2 tbsp of water and stir. Place beans in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool slightly then add your remaining dill + hot sauce or chilli flakes if you desire!
• with a fried egg + avocado
• raw or steamed broccoli + spinach
• over spaghetti squash
• with meat/fish
• over veggie rice/quinoa