Gigandes are the very definition of “Slow Food.” They are a real treat in the winter months. Literally giant beans, they are white in color and have a subtle flavor with a meaty texture. This is my version of a classic Greek favorite.

What you need:

  • 500g Giant beans (they are about the size of your thumb nail). You can use any other white bean as a substitute. 
  • 250g bacon finely chopped. 
  • 2 cans of whole roma tomatoes.
  • 500g of sieved or crushed tomatoes.  
  • 1 small can of tomato paste.
  • 1 Onion diced.
  • 1 head of roasted garlic or 2 cloves smashed and finely chopped.
  • Olive oil.
  • Dried oregano (for the sauce).
  • Fresh oregano (optional for the garnish).
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil
How it’s done:
  • Soak the beans overnight in water.
  • Simmer the beans in salty water for about an hour.
  • Change the water and simmer for another hour or until the beans are soft.
  • Drain and set aside.
  • Saute the onions in a little olive oil until translucent.
  • Add the garlic and the bacon and continue to cook until the bacon is done but not crispy.
  • Add all the tomato product along with the beans and herbs and adjust the liquid with a little water if necessary.
  • Transfer the mixture to a roasting pan and braise in an oven heated to 200C or 400F for about an hour. 
  • Keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally and adding more water if it looks like it needs it.  The consistency should be like a thick gravy. 
  • When done, tuck in with a nice glass of Retsina or any other medium bodied white wine.
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