Greek feast anyone?
This is a welcome dish at any time as far as I’m concerned – a big bowl of rich and delicious butterbeans. Project new kitchen is finally under way, so for now I have just a single hob and a mini-fridge to work with in the Kitchen in the Lounge. It certainly helps keep things simple… Hence I didn’t actually bake the beans this time, just treated this as a one-pot dish on the hob. But baking really enriches the sauce and that’s what I suggest you do.
“Everybody likes butterbeans”
It’s a Greek dish – basically baked beans, with a rich tomato sauce and plenty of butterbeans. And as the B52s sang, back in the day, everybody likes butterbeans. If you think you don’t, please give this recipe a try.
It’s great as a main course with some crusty bread, like these Greek sesame bread rings, baked when I taught Greek baking at Bread Ahead recently. The beans also work really well as part of a Mediterranean feast with lots of other side dishes. I’m thinking hummus, grilled halloumi, Greek salad and other such delights.
Gigantes plaki aka big beans
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
- 200g tomatoes
- 1 red pepper cut into bite sized pieces
- 400g butterbeans
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 tbsp flat leaf parsley
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
- Add the chopped onion and bayleaf and sweat on a low heat for 8-10 minutes, until the onion is softened.
- Add the garlic and stir for a minute.
- If your tomatoes are small, cut them in half, if they are large, roughly chop them. Add the tomatoes to the pan, along with the pepper.
- Drain and rinse the beans and add to the saucepan.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Simmer on a medium heat for a couple of minutes, then transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake for 30 minutes
- While the beans are baking, roughly chop the flat leaf parsley and sprinkle over the beans before serving.