June 16, 2010

Gigantes - The Giant Greek Lima Bean Dish

Most Americans know lima beans as the green - usually Fordhook - frozen variety found in our grocery stores. But the Greeks...they know lima beans! 

"Gigandes plaki" or "Gigantes" is a Greek dish meaning "giant lima beans" baked in a savory tomato sauce. 

Here's a great recipe made from dried giant lima beans with over 13 grams of fiber per one cup serving:

  • 1 lb dried lima beans (butter beans work well too - soak either overnight)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes with juice (Rotelle works as well)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3-5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs tomato juice (V-8 is fine)
  • 2 Tbs fresh dill, chopped
  • Extra hot water to cover the beans by about 1 inch
  1. Soak the beans overnight
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F
  3. Mix beans with all ingredients except additional water
  4. Place mixture in large, flat baking or casserole dish
  5. Cover with enough hot water to rise 1 inch above bean
  6. Cook for 2-2 1/2 hours or until beans are done