I probably shouldn’t admit this, but there are very few things that I am willing to eat for days on end. In fact, aside from this bread, I can think of only one.
Greek style gigante beans.
I can’t explain it except to say that the interplay of the acidic tomatoes and creamy beans hits all of the right notes, tastewise. It’s complex, but also homey.
Honestly, now that I’d written that, it sounds overblown.
So, instead, I’ll say this: it simply tastes good.
I opted to use great nothern beans in my version because, honestly, when it comes to cooking, I’m not particularly good about planning ahead. By which I mean, I didn’t think to soak my beans the night before. I thought the smaller beans might cook in less time. Thankfully, I was right.
Of course, now that I know how easy it is to make these beans myself, I’ll be doing so again. Maybe, I’ll get my act together to do it the more authentic way that the original recipe suggests, ouzo and all.
Greek Style Beans
Adapted from Bon Appetit
8 ounces dried great nothern beans
3 TBS olive oil
2 small chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken stock
1 14 ounce can tomatoes, pureed
1 TBS tomato paste
3 TBS red wine vinegar
1 TBS lemon juice
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Rinse beans and pick out any damaged ones. Then place the beans in a large pot or bowl and cover with water. Soak at least eight hours.
When you are ready to cook the beans, preheat your oven to 350. Then, in a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over a medium high heat. Add the chopped onions, garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until the onions are golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Add tomato paste and heat for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer.
Rinse the beans and add them to the dutch oven along with the pureed tomatoes, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and oregano. Bring to a boil and cover the pot. Place the covered pot in the preheated oven. Cook for 60 minutes covered, then uncover and cook at least another 30 minutes, until the beans are tender and the sauce has thickened.