Baked Beans – Giant Gigantes Plaki

A super homely dish, these are baked beans like no others, done the Greek way. Easy and nutritious, you can make this a day or even two ahead. with some salad, fresh bread and feta, this is a yummy main course. It’s also a great mezze. Just share with some ouzo or as a side dish for an informal family get-together.

Gigantes Baked Beans

5 from 4 votes
Course: Main, Sides, MezzeDifficulty: Medium
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

30

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

40

minutes

Baked beans the Greek way, eaten a a main or mezze

Ingredients

  • 500 grams extra large white beans

  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced

  • 1/3 bunch dill

  • salt, pepper, oregano

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1-2 tomatoes, sliced

  • a few cherry tomatoes (optional)

  • For the Sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced

  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped

  • 400 can can of tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes, grated

  • salt, pepper

Directions

  • You need to soak the beans overnight in plenty of water.
  • Drain the beans. Place in a pan and cover generously with water.
  • Add a pinch of salt and some pepper.
  • When they have softened, after about 1.5 hours, pour into a baking dish.
  • Pour over the sauce and dill and mix well. Add a 1/2 cup of water.
  • Cover the bean mix with sliced tomatoes.
  • Sprinkle some salt, pepper, dried oregano and the olive oil over the mix and place in the oven
  • Bake for around an hour. Halfway through, when the tomatoes on top have cooked cover with some foil so they do not burn.
  • Let the beans cool down for a few minutes before serving.
  • Cooking the Sauce
  • Saute the onions and garlic for a couple minutes, till soft, in the hot olive oil.
  • Add the carrots and tomatoes.
  • Bring to a boil. Then lower the temperature and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add salt, dried oregano and pepper to taste and the cherry tomatoes, whole, if you want to.

Serves 4-5 as a main course.

This is another of those foods cooked with plently of olive oil that we Greeks call ladera. So, gigantes plaki or Greek baked beans are best served a few hours after you’ve finished cooking it. They are lovely warmed up but not piping hot. And they can also been eaten at room temperature.

It’s a great dish to cook first thing in the morning and then come back to later in the day. Great as a main course, as a side and as a meze.

Typically people season this dish with celery leaves. But we tried our beans with dill on a trip to Patmos and loved it! That’s also where we got to the idea of adding whole cherry tomatoes to our beans. They really do lift the dish up.

You could add your aromatics (dill and oregano) in your sauce and be done with it. But they really do retain so much more of their delicious smell if you stick them in a bit later on.

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