beans

Greek Style White Beans

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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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18 Comments

  1. This looks delicious, definitely need to give this recipe a try!

  2. I typed in white beans, carrot, onion, and garlic into google and I found this recipe! I;m about to make it right now. Thank you!

  3. Erin says:

    I also married a Greek and have found myself cooking Greek food. I found your site looking for Easter cookies. I made your Spanokopita as well – awesome. Just wanted to let you know you can get dry Gigantes at Big John’s PFI. It is worth seeking them out there or ordering online. So amazing. May I also recommend a swirl of skordalia into your finished beans? It really makes the dish.
    Thanks – beautiful site!

    • Thanks! I will look the beans up for sure.

      I LOVE Skordalia! I have to work on finding a good recipe- do you know of one?

  4. Hugh Morton says:

    the gigantes in the USA are usually labeled large lima beans. sometimes cooked in the south as butter beans. they don’t start out that big, but at least triple in size. to almost 2″ end to end

    • Thank you! That helps! My mother in law made the real deal last week and they were incredible- I have to get her to do her version soon!

  5. Barb says:

    This recipe is awesome! Made it last night and didn’t change a thing. I don’t like beans but after one taste, I’ve changed my mind. Can’t wait to get home from work tonight and dig in to a delicious bowl of them!

  6. Yum, I’d love to add this to any meal or mix it with pasta!

    • HA! I lOVE a double starch- I bet it would be great with pasta!

  7. Jeanette says:

    I’m always looking for a good vegetarian dish to make for my kids!

  8. marla says:

    Love the beans, but it is the big handful of cheese on the top that makes them extra fab!

    • isn’t everything better with a big pile of cheese!?

  9. jenjenk says:

    these reminds me of the beans I had in Istanbul!!! i can’t wait to try it!!!

  10. Aggie says:

    I absolutely love beans served like this. So comforting. Looks delicious!

  11. Liz says:

    Very rich and tasty, but took 5-6 hours of simmering before beans were tender enough for me, not mushy by any means !!

    • Oh Liz- that is a long time. I am planning to work on re-doing this recipe so that is is easier and more authentic. Stay tuned in the next month or so.

  12. Lydia says:

    ALL YOU NEED IS A CAN OF TOMATOE SAUCE (no spices added) AND FOR THE BEANS YOU CAN USE LARGE, WHITE LIMA BEANS….they are all the exact same thing! Just make sure you get LARGE white beans & then use her receipe!