Gigantes or giant beans which means Giants is a nice side dish that can be eaten with feta cheese or combined with meat meals like lamb.
It is normally served in our taverna as a starter or part of a small meze.
½ kg Butterbeans, soaked overnight
2 medium onions finely chopped
1 can tomatoes finely chopped
1 fresh red chilli pepper
½ fresh red sweet pepper finely chopped
1 cup celery leaves and stem roughly chopped
1 cup carrots in thin slices
1 cup olive oil
1 teaspoonful oregano
Salt & pepper to taste
Boil the butterbeans in a large pan for 15 minutes removing the foam that rises to the top of the water with a wooden spoon before the beans come to boiling point.
(Make sure the water you use to boil is not too hard in minerals. If you are not sure use botteld water otherwisw your beans will not go soft.)
Transfer the beans to another large pan and add enough boiled water to cover them.
Add the finely chopped onions and cook slowly until they are soft but not over boiled.
Transfer the beans and onions to a shallow oven dish and add all the other ingredients apart from the olive oil. Add just enough of the water from the pan to cover them.
Add the olive oil and seasoning to taste.
Bake in a pre-heated moderate oven for 40 minutes or until they colour nicely and the sauce has thickened.