Greek Style White Beans with Tomato, Onion and Garlic

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This is a play on the Greek dish “Fasolia Gigantes”, or Giant Beans. Knowing that I am married to a Greek man, this was requested by a friend looking for the recipe. I am embarrassed to say that I have never had this dish! (What? It’s not like my husband is whipping up Giant Beans!) But when his mom stopped by the other day, I asked what these beans were all about. She is a great cook and explained it like a little of this, and a little of that. She also let me know that you simmer the beans; you don’t bake them as some recipes call for. So I got the basic ingredients and techniques, but because I have never tasted or seen the dish, I still didn’t really understand what the end result was supposed to be. It didn’t help that my husband has been out of town, so I couldn’t really consult him about the matter!

And while I certainly won’t claim any type of authenticity or Greekness, these did wind up tasty! So I stress the word play on Fasolia Gigantes! Oh yeah. Also, I couldn’t find any dried giant beans! So the closest I got was a bag of good quality white cannellini beans.

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These took about 3 hours to cook, so save it for an afternoon when you have time to be in the kitchen keeping an eye on things.

Greek Style White Beans with Tomato, Onion and Garlic
½ cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
6 fresh Roma tomatoes, diced
24oz of dried cannellini beans
1 28oz can of pureed tomatoes
2 Tbs dried Greek oregano
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
Kosher salt

Parmesan and flat leaf parsley for garnish

In a large pot over medium heat, add ¼ cup of the olive oil and the onion. Sprinkle the onion with a little kosher salt and let the onion sweat for a few minutes.

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Add the garlic and cook on medium-low.

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Add the carrots and celery and sweat for a few minutes.

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Add the Roma tomatoes and let them cook in with the other vegetables.

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Add the beans and mix them in.

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Add the tomato puree, remaining olive oil and the Greek oregano.

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Add the chicken stock.

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Cover the pot and simmer on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to make sure that the beans don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

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At the one hour mark, add 2 cups of water. Continue to stir every 20 minutes or so.

At the two hour mark, add more water and continue to simmer, stirring every 20 minutes or so.

The beans should take between 2 ½ and 3 hours to get tender. Just make sure you simmer them on the lowest possible heat and don’t let them burn!!

The beans should be just tender, and still have a little tooth to them (not mushy). The tomato sauce will be thick and rich. Adjust the seasoning with kosher salt at the very end.

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Serve the beans hot with freshly grated parmesan and a little flat leaf parsley

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