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Giant beans in the oven (Φασόλια γίγαντες στο φούρνο)

Cretan cuisine (Κρητική κουζίνα) - Giant beans in the oven (Φασόλια γίγαντες στο φούρνο)

Gigantes plaki (yigandes plaki, γίγαντες πλακί) is a popular Greek taverna dish, consisting of oven-baked fasolia gigante ("giant") beans with tomato sauce. Gigantes are occasionally also called elephant beans (elephantes) - which is the name reserved for extra large giant beans.

 GiantBeans
 

Ingredients:

  • 400 g dried giant or butter beans
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (Greek, of course)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp concentrated tomato paste/pureé
  • 2x400 g cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • couple of pinches of ground cinnamon
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • To garnish:
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf/Italian parsley

Instructions:

  1. Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water. Drain, rinse, drain again. Place in a large pan covered with fresh water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, then simmer gently for 50-60 minutes, until the beans are tender but not too soft. Drain.
  2. Heat the oven to 180C/350F.
  3. Make the sauce: heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over moderately low heat. Add the onion and fry for about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for another 2-3 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add the tomato puree, sauté for a minute. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the beans) and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season generously with honey, oregano, salt and pepper, then tip in the drained cooked beans.
  5. Transfer the mixture into a large ovenproof dish - I love using my lasagne pan - and bake for approximately one hour. Don't cover and don't stir! The dish is ready when the tomato sauce has thickened and the beans are soft and flavoursome.
  6. Remove from the oven, cool a little. Scatter the parsley on top and drizzle with some extra olive oil.

Enjoy your meal (Καλή όρεξη)

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