Greek Gigantes Beans


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.


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

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.

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

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