So, um, like 2 ½ years ago (yikes! time flies…) I tried to make Gigantes (Giant Greek Beans). The problem was, I couldn’t find the beans themselves, so I had to buy cannellini beans, which, are just definitely not giant. And then my Greek mother-in-law outlined the ingredients over the phone for me, but not in any quantity cause she doesn’t use recipes. Finally is the somewhat important fact that I had never in my life, despite being married to a Greek man, had a Gigante. That kind of stuff always complicates the creation of a recipe., as I’m sure you can imagine!
Eventually I ended up with a recipe that I couldn’t by a long shot bring myself to call Gigantes. While tasty, the best I could muster was “Greek STYLE white beans.”
But in September when Pete and I finally went to Greece and ate non-stop at the local Taverna’s everywhere we went, it was the Gigantes that had me absolutely FREAKING out. I mean, I am sure some of those waiters thought I was off my rocker shoveling in those huge platters of beans by myself.
As much as I enjoyed them, I promised myself I would try to recreate them when I got back to Seattle. But I am parranoid that I waited to long to do it, because now I only have my memory to help me with the proportions, (so please feel free to chime in if you have some family tips or something). However these are so flavorful and delicious and I ate these alongside grilled fish and green salad for days and they were fantastic. The Gigantes should be very soft and tender and swimming in the tomato sauce (plenty of sauce and not too thick!)
And these are incredible just as they are for lunch- one of my favorites lately. Enjoy!
Soak the beans over night in a huge bowl of water for at least 12 hours.
Drain the beans and rinse them. Place them in a pot and cover the beans with water and then bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, put a lid on the pot and cook for about 60 minutes or until the beans are tender. (if the water cooks down too much, just add some more water)
While the beans are cooking to tender, in a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the onions and sweat until the onions are tender, about 7 minutes.
Add the garlic and carrots and stir while cooking another 5 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes and the oregano and simmer about 15 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt.
Add the beans and gently stir into the sauce. Let the beans simmer on lowest heat for 10 minutes and then remove from the heat and let the beans absorb some more flavor. Check the seasoning again and serve hot or at room temperature.
- -1 pound dried carona beans, or gigantes
- -1/2 cup olive oil
- -1 onion, small diced
- -3 cloves garlic
- -3 large carrots, minced
- -28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- -2 teaspoons dried oregano
- -¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- -Kosher salt to taste
- 1. Soak the beans over night in a huge bowl of water for at least 12 hours.
- 2. Drain the beans and rinse them.
- 3. Place them in a pot and cover the beans with water and then bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, put a lid on the pot and cook for about 60 minutes or until the beans are tender.
- 4. While the beans are cooking to tender, in a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the onions and sweat until the onions are tender, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and carrots and stir while cooking another 5 minutes.
- 5. Add the crushed tomatoes and the oregano and pepper flakes and simmer about 15 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt.
- 6. Add the beans and gently stir into the sauce. Let the beans simmer on lowest heat for 10 minutes and then remove from the heat and let the beans absorb some more flavor. Check the seasoning again and serve hot or at room temperature.
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
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So that’s what these beans are used for! Now I’m wracking my brain trying to remember which store I saw them in. This recipe sounds so delicious; perfect for this winter weather.
I have only seen them in Specialty Italian and Greek stores, but I bet some gourmet grocers have them in the dried bean section.
LOVE these beans!! They are just so big and fat and awesome.
Thanks Gaby- I love how huge they are too- the scale is awesome!
I never met a bean I didn’t like! Where can I buy carona beans?
I think if you have limited resources (like specialty Italian stores, etc.) that whole foods may sell them or other gourmet grocers, but you can also purchase them on-line http://www.amazon.com/Corona-Beans-dried/dp/B001GX62ZC
So simple and yet tasty!
Sweet! Something tasty to eat now that I’m on restriction! 😉
Can’t wait to make these!
I love beans, all kinds. Can I find these at a local grocer?
woah, those are definitely huge beans! I love the sauce that they’re covered in – so flavorful!
These would be perfect to get kids to eat their beans! To a kid these must seem enormous. What fun!
I’m totally going to try these – perhaps with the striped bass I just picked up from the fish market. Lovely recipe.
I have never had gigantes–I think the closest I’ve come is Middle Eastern foul–but they look super amazing! Must go on the lookout for giant beans ASAP. 🙂
Have to say, did not know what these were by the title ~ now all clear. These GIANT beans look amazing!
How fun is this?! Loving those giant beans. I can practically taste the deliciousness from here 🙂
I love these beans…they have them hidden at certain Trader Joe’s 🙂
I just call them Giant Beans, and I love them!
Yassou! I am married to a Greek too and my mother-in-law makes these delicious beans. One thing she adds is a little red pepper flake to her recipe and it adds just a little something extra and makes them even more yummy! Glad to have stumbled across your blog!
I’ve never made these, but you’ve definitely inspired me to try! 🙂
I am half greek and have been making what we call ‘Fasolia’ for years. The above recipe is very close to the one we use, but we also use celery. Love your site- very nice recipes and have bookmarked it! Have fun! Angie x
Some recipes call for dill or parsley. I use them both, especially fresh dill in gigantes, the more the better, but that is a personal choice. Such a great dish, always a favorite.
I just tried for the first time the gigante bean recipe. Loved it!! I ordered my beans from Amazon from the Arosis company. The beans are grown in Greece. I was wondering if you purchased your dried beans from them or have you found a local source . Thanks Nancy