Gigantes Simmered in a Garlicky Tomato Sauce (Fassoulia)

Gigantes with Garlic and Tomato (Fassoulia)

One of the earliest Greek dishes I made at home, after mastering Greek salad, was baked Gigantes in a rich, herbed tomato sauce. I've since explored the delights of Greek cuisine in more detail and I've yet to be disappointed. The Mediterranean diet is often considered to be one of the healthiest on the planet, so why not explore.

Craving Greek fare again, I made this stovetop version with gigantes and tomatoes as part of a Greek themed meal. It was an ideal accompaniment to a cauliflower gratin with Feta and olives and a Greek-style rice. I'll be sharing those recipes over the next little while.

Do take care not to overcook the beans. You want them tender but not falling apart.

Gigantes with Tomato and Garlic

Gigantes Simmered in a Garlicky Tomato Sauce (Fassoulia)Gigantes Simmered in a Garlicky Tomato Sauce (Fassoulia)
Recipe by
Cuisine: Greek
Published on Februay 12, 2014

Giant lima beans simmered in a rich and zesty Greek-seasoned tomato sauce

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours

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  • 2 cups dried gigantes or large lima beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped or 1 14 oz (400 mL) can chopped tomatoes
  • 5 to 6 cups water
  • 5 1/2 oz (156 mL) can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried Greek oregano
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Rinse the gigantes or lima beans and soak in several inches of water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse.

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed sauepan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened — about 5 to 7 minutes. Add half of the garlic and jalapeño, stir for about 1 minute, and then add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes thicken — about 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Next add the remaining garlic and jalapeño, the drained beans, water, tomato paste, oregano, dill, mint, paprika and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the salt and simmer for another 15 to 25 minutes or until the beans are tender but not falling apart.

  • Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour in the beans. Return the tomato broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and the sauce is thickened. Gently stir in the beans and cook for another 5 minutes or so.

  • Stir in the lemon juice and black pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes and serve, garnished with chopped parsley.

Makes 6 main servings


More Greek fare from Lisa's Kitchen to try at home:
Skewered Greek Salad
Fried Saganaki with Halloumi on a Greek Tomato Salad with Kalamata Olives
Greek Lentil Soup (Fakes)

On the top of the reading stack: Kitchen Workshop-Pizza: Hands-on Cooking Lessons for Making Amazing Pizza at Home by Ruth Gresser

Audio Accompaniment: Kolsch


Jacqueline Meldrum said...

SLURP!!!! That is all!

Eileen said...

Ooh, yes please! When we lived in NYC I used to get fassoulia for lunch at a little falafel restaurant (basically a hallway with a counter) in the east 40s. I've been wanting some ever since, so I'm super glad to see this!

Joanne said...

I LOVE gigantes and am definitely craving this in a serious way now!

janet @ the taste space said...

Oh yum, Lisa! I love how big your lima beans are! it is true, if you cook them too long, sometimes they turn into mush. :(