Friday, March 20, 2009

Baked Gigantes in Tomato Sauce

Gigantes are large white beans used in Greek cuisine. They are named - I can only suppose - for the giants from Greek mythology, and indeed these are the biggest beans I've ever seen! You can find them at Mediterranean grocery stores - if you're anywhere near Manhattan, try the amazing International Grocer near the Port Authority. They are expensive, probably because they're so hard to find, but note that my cost listed below was for twice the amount called for in this recipe, since I wanted to have some extra to use in recipes down the road. If you can't find gigantes, large dried lima beans make a good substitute.

To begin, place 1 and 1/4 cups (about 8 ounces) of dried gigantes beans in a pot and cover with water to 2 inches above the beans. Let stand at least 8 hours, or overnight. Drain.

Return the beans to the pot and cover again with water to 2 inches above the beans; bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour.

While the beans are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 and 1/2 cups chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot, and 2 small minced garlic cloves; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1 and 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes (undrained - that's about half of a standard 28-ounce can); turn down the heat just a notch and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried dill, if you prefer), 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and 1 teaspoon agave nectar (in place of honey).

Combine the tomato mixture and the gigantes in a 1 and 1/2-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. You'll have 4, 1-cup servings of 330 calories each.

dried gigantes $8.00
canned crushed tomatoes $1.79

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance