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I've always loved this Greek meze, and recently had a wonderful version similar to this in San Francisco. The gigantes bean (pronounced yee-gahn-tes) has been grown in the Kastoria region of Greece since the 17th century. Like California has the American Viticultural Area wine-growing regions, the gigantes has a Protected Geographical Indication—that's one important bean! Serve with bread and a salad for a main dish. For a vegan version, simply omit the feta.
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Time: About 15 minutes active; 1 hour 45 minutes total (plus soaking beans overnight)
1 pound dried gigantes or large lima beans, rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
3 tablespoons parsley
4 ounce feta, crumbled
1. Soak beans in broth overnight. Do not drain.
2. In a large pot, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic, and sauté 5-7 minutes, until soft.
3. Add beans with broth, tomatoes, oregano, thyme, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees.
5. Add bean mixture to a 9" x 13" casserole dish (it'll be liquidy), and bake for one hour.
6. Remove and sprinkle parsley and feta over top.
Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.