Saturday 16 July 2011

Gigantes (Butter beans in red sauce)

I made this yesterday to remind me of summer, although it is raining here at the moment... It goes really well with a bit of ouzo on the side as well as lots of bread! It can be served as a meze dish or as a main course and it is a good vegetarian option. In Greece it is extremely popular and eaten regularly so here you go, recipe below, this is more than enough for 4 servings:


500gr butter beans
A bunch of parsley
1 onion
250gr passata
1 spoon of tomato purée
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper


In order to ensure the butter beans are soft, put them in water overnight or at least 6 hours before cooking.  Drain them and add them to the pot. Add roughly 6 glasses of water and let them boil. I use a pressure cooker where it takes usually about 5 minutes on full heat and roughly another 15 minutes until you can open the pot. If you use a normal pot, then they need to boil for roughly 45 minutes or until you try them and they are soft enough. Note that you should not put any salt in the water or they will never boil!
Once boiled, keep aside a cup of the water they boiled in and drain the rest. Then grate the onion. Add 2 ladles (or 2 cups) of olive oil in the pot, add the onion and the parsley which you have previously chopped. Then add the passata and the tomato puree as well as roughly 1 spoon of salt and some pepper. Once the sauce starts boiling, add the butter beans and the water which you had kept aside. This will help the sauce stick on the beans.  Boil for an extra 10 minutes roughly, whilst stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. Once the water is gone and the sauce sticks to the beans, the food is ready!

Ps. Be generous with the olive oil, it goes well!Oh yes, and don't forget the feta cheese!!!


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