I have a question for you, before we get into the nitty gritty – have you ever tried Greek beans?
Now, I have. And let me tell you – you need to jump on board this bean train ASAP. I was first introduced to them after trying them from Odysea (a fantastic *not sponsored* company that import Greek and Mediterranean food right to your door here in the UK and available at all good supermarkets. The pots were packed full of giant beans coated in this rich and delicious tomato sauce that was just inviting me to dive right in.
They work perfectly as served as part of a meze, hot or cold, or served with a plethora of other dishes – or even just eaten straight from the jar, as I have done many times.
As soon as I tried them, I just knew I had to recreate them. There was something so wonderfully simple about the dish that intrigued me. How by bringing together just a few simple ingredients you could create something that was uncomplicated but could also become super complex all at the same time.
Now, I know I can’t replicate them completely, but this is my ode to them! A thick and dense tomato stew packed with both fresh and dried herbs and the all-important gigante beans. Gigante beans (meaning Giant in Greek) are renowned for their buttery texture and unique flavour. Grown in Greece and populating in its cuisine, gigante beans have a sweet, mild taste but a meaty texture that can hold its own through cooking making them perfectly creamy and tender once slow roasted such as in this dish.
Now they can be a little tricky to track down, but Amazon is a great starting place – if you’re still unable you can use standard butter beans, they are similar in both taste, shape and texture. Now this dish is one that is quite simple, but what makes it unique and calls you in with its deep siren song is the distinctive herb mix that is completely and truly Mediterranean.
The dish uses a mixture of thyme, mint, dill and oregano and unlike most dishes it uses both fresh and dried rather than favouring one over the other. This combination allows different parts of the palate to be hit and offering a well-rounded flavour profile which coats the gigante beans perfectly as the cling onto the surface allowing the flavours to travel from fork to tongue properly.
Sticking on the simple theme, this dish allows itself to open up too many side dishes and accompaniments. You could serve them on a fresh chunk of sourdough for a late lazy brunch on a Sunday afternoon, or with freshly made flatbreads (I have a quick step by step tutorial on how to make the best effortless flatbreads here) and a crisp leaf salad for lunch. They would also work amazingly served with a fluffy rice or quinoa side dish or a roasted vegetable salad with lots of dips on the side for a more hearty main meal.
They also freeze super well – so I would recommend doubling the batch and popping them in the fridge or freezer to use throughout the coming days or weeks. The flavours are even better the next day once they have had a chance to develop and infuse all the wonderful components. Just portion out and freeze in jars or individual portions and thaw overnight in the fridge – it can be kept in the freezer for a few weeks. The recipe is super simple to create and because it’s cooked all in one pan, makes the washing up a breeze making it the perfect dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
If you like this recipe, why not give one of my other bean recipes a try?
My Smokey Beans with Aubergines topped with Cheesy Toasts as like the grown-up version of your ultimate childhood breakfast of dreams – cheesey beans on toasts.
My husband’s favourite dish – Spiced Black Beans with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower is a super speedy and incredibly easy dish that everyone needs to try at least once in their life.
And finally these Spicy Beans with a Creamy Cashew Cheese Sauce served with Crispy Potato Wedges are my nod to the Mexican cuisine and is pure comfort on a plate with a little fun twist added.
And if that wasn’t enough bean action in one post, why not check out my brand-newblog post that showcases Ten Delicious and Simple Recipes that use beans as their main star ingredient in my Ultimate Store Cupboard Dining series. You can read it here.
I really hope you love this delicious dish as much as I do; make sure to post and tag with @rebelrecipes #rebelrecipes if you make this dish so I can see and repost your gorgeous creations!
Did you know that I have a new cookbook?
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Here's a sneak peak...
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