Thursday, 3 July 2014

Gigantes Plaki (Butter Beans in Tomato Sauce)

Traditionally, gigantes plaki is made from soaked, dried butter/lima beans and baked in the oven. My quick version relies on tinned beans and is cooked on the hob, but you could make a big batch using dried beans and cook in the slow cooker (boil the beans for 10 minutes before slow cooking). This dish can be serve warm a part of a meze or hot as a main dish with rice or bread.

My version costs around £1 to make, using budget-brand beans and tinned tomatoes. 

Serves 2-4
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped or crushed
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes or around 400g/1 lb chopped fresh tomatoes.
  • 1 tin butter/lima beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh dill
  • ½ tsp sugar, optional
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • a pinch of cinnamon or a small cinnamon stick, optional 
Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onion, carrot and garlic for a few minutes.
Add all of the remaining ingredients, apart from the beans, and stir well.
Cover and simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes. 
Add the beans, stir and simmer (with the lid on)  for a further 10-20 minutes, until the carrots are tender.

 Vegetable Palette
Lower fat alternative: Just use 1 tsp of oil. 
Camping version: Simmer a jar of tomato pasta sauce with a drained tin of butter beans. Serve with warm pittas.

I'm linking this recipe to 'The Vegetable Palette'  over at  A2K - A Seasonal Veg Table.  This month's colour theme is red.

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  1. Thank you so much Lisa for sharing this lovely red dish, Been a while since I've had butter beans and I like that this is a quick homemade version and can be part of a mezze dish, perfect for this weather.

    1. Thanks Shaheen. We're thinking about our forthcoming Greek holiday and eating lots of Greek food in preparation!


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