Saturday, January 30, 2010

Baked Gigantes Beans

Rachel from The Crispy Cook is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I feel as if I'm part of a fairytale with these giant coloured beans

Colored Gigantes-Elefantes© by Haalo

Hailing from Greece, these quite striking beans are coloured Gigantes-Elephantes. Usually if you find Gigantes they will be an all white bean which looks like this

Gigantes-Elephantes© by Haalo

The other thing you'll immediately notice about these beans are their size which I'll illustrate

gigantes v haricot bean comparison© by Haalo

Here we can see a coloured Gigantes and regular Haricot beans - they do live up to having Giant in their name.

The dish I've made is my version of Gigantes Plaki - it's basically a simple stew of beans that is usually served as a Meze offering.

Baked Gigantes Beans© by Haalo

Baked Gigantes Beans

250 grams coloured Gigantes-Elephantes Beans
1 red onion, sliced finely
1 carrot, diced finely
1 stick of celery, diced finely
1 can/440 grams diced tomatoes (use fresh tomatoes if in season)
salt and pepper
handful parsley leaves, chopped

Prepare the beans:
Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl of water.

In a large oven proof dish, add a good glug of olive oil and place on a low heat. Add in the finely diced onion, carrot and celery and cook slowly until softened and just starting to colour.

Tumble in the drained, soaked beans along with the tomatoes and a handful of chopped parsley leaves. Stir and then add enough water to cover the beans. Let this come back to simmering point and then place in a preheated 160°C/320°F oven.

Let this cook until the beans have softened - this will at least take a couple of hours. Be sure to check the beans at least every half an hour and top up with more water if they are running dry.

The finished dish should have quite a thick sauce. Season only when the beans have cooked through - if you add salt earlier than this, the beans will harden and no matter how long you cook them they won't soften.


  1. wow those beans are gorgeous and even seem to look wonderful in the baked mezze dish

  2. Those certainly are muy gigantes! They look like scarlet runner beans on steroids. The end result looks mighty tasty.

  3. Thanks Johanna, they are lovely beans

    Thanks Rachel!

  4. oh- I really feel like those were the magic beans in jack and the beanstalk! They look yummy too!

  5. Thanks GG - they are pretty tasty!

    Thanks Elodie!

  6. Gigantes Plaki - I love this dish! I was wondering if you know where you got the beans from, as I don't think I can remember seeing them outside of Greece?

    Help much appreciated!

    1. Hi Lexi - I don't know if he still sells them but I bought these from Demitri's Feast in Richmond

  7. Oh thank you so much. I'll ask when I'm in next; I actually ate them there for breakfast and that's what got me started looking for them dried!


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