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
- 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.