As it is well known Greek cuisine has a vast number of recipes based on legumes. One of our favourite recipes that we enjoy, not only in winter but all year round, is baked giant beans, which in Greek we call “yíyantes plakí”.
Here’s the recipe
400g dried butter beans
½ cup esti extra virgin olive oil + more to serve
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste solved in ½ cup water
1 can ground tomatoes
3 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water. The next day drain the beans, rinse them, and place them in a pot covered with water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour until tender. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oven to 180C. In a large frying pan heat the olive oil, then sauté the onion and garlic for 10 minutes approximately until softened but not browned. Add the tomato paste and canned tomato and continue to simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, parsley, oregano, cinnamon and simmer for 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, and then add the beans. Place in large baking dish, and bake for at least one hour or until the beans are soft and have absorbed the sauce that will have thickened. Drizzle with esti extra virgin olive oil and serve.
This dish can be served at room temperature too. Also serve it as an appetizer or a main dish.