Greek Baked Beans
Lima beans are easy to come by where I live.
Recipes that differ from eating them spiked with pork fat over white (Uncle Ben’s) rice are not.
The recipes that revolve around lima beans spiked with bacon and served over white rice are the ones that run in my family. I will say that my Uncle Jack and Aunt Faye might be the best makers of the aforementioned dish. Or maybe I love it so much because I only get it on Christmas day, sitting amongst my family in the garage (yes, the garage, but it is very clean and heated!), celebrating the holidays.
As much as I appreciate that recipe I think this is the family recipe for lima beans I’d like to pass down.
It is a tad bit healthier since it is filled with vegetables and lacks fatty meats. It is just as flavorful. I felt fine serving it as a main course with crusty bread and a salad. It would be excellent as a side dish, too.
Gigantes Plaki (adapted from Elly Says Opa)
1 lb. or 500g dried gigantes beans, or large butter or lima beans
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
3 bay leaves
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes tomatoes
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2+ cups water or liquid from boiling beans
1/3 cup chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. chopped dill
- Place the beans in a large bowl or baking dish and cover with water by about 2″. Soak overnight.
- Add the beans to a large pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the beans for about an hour or until tender, but still with a little bite.
- (This can be done in advance.)
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, carrots, and bay leaves.
- Sauté until tender, and then stir in the garlic, cooking for about a minute before adding the tomatoes, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
- Season to taste with salt, and simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes.
- Mix together with the parsley, dill and beans (in the same skillet or in a separate casserole dish) and add about 1 cups of water or liquid from boiling the beans, enough to cover the beans.
- Bake for about 1.5 hours, checking occasionally and adding more hot water if necessary, until beans are tender. The top will look crispy.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8