Oven Baked Giant Beans With Tomato, Dill and Feta Recipe
Serves: 6
  • 1 pound dried gigantes (giant white beans) or other white beans
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 inner ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large leek, white and pale green parts, cleaned well and coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon dried Greek oregano, crumbled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2½ cups Kokkari Tomato Sauce or your favorite sauce
  • ½ cup unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • ¼ pound Greek feta cheese, crumbled
  • Kokkari Tomato Sauce:
  • 28 ounces tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon dried Greek oregano, crumbled
  • 1 sprig fresh basil
  • Sea salt
  1. Cover the beans with 3 inches of cold water and allow to soak overnight. Drain and rinse.
  2. Put the soaked beans in a stockpot and cover with 2 inches of cold water. Bring to a simmer over high heat, skimming any surface foam. Cover, and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. After 45 minutes, add 2 teaspoons salt, the onion, carrot, celery, leek, garlic, oregano, and bay leaves. Raise the heat to return to a simmer. Adjust the heat to maintain a bare simmer and cook, uncovered, until the beans are tender, 45 minutes or more depending on their age. Test several, as they do not always cook evenly. (I did this in a slow cooker for 6 hours on LOW after soaking overnight.)
  3. Drain the beans in a colander, reserving the broth for another use like soup. Remove the bay leaves. Return the beans to the pot and stir in the tomato sauce, olive oil, and 3 Tablespoons of the dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can prepare the beans to this point 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Reheat gently before continuing.
  4. Preheat broiler. Transfer beans to an 11-by-7-inch baking dish, or dish of comparable size, spreading them evenly. Combine the feta and the remaining 1 Tablespoon dill and sprinkle evenly over the beans. Broil on the top rack until the beans are heated through and the surface is appetizingly browned. Serve hot.
To make the Kokkari Tomato Sauce:
In a food processor, puree the tomatoes with their juice. Set aside. Crush the garlic cloves with the heel of your palm against the side of a chef’s knife. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté just until it begins to brown, tipping the pan so the cloves remain covered in oil. Remove from the heat and discard the garlic cloves. Add the pureed tomatoes to the hot oil – the mixture will sizzle and splatter – then return the pan to medium heat. Cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, until the sauce has thickened and lost its raw taste, about 15 minutes. If the flavor does not seem rich enough, stir in the tomato paste. Add the oregano and simmer 5 minutes more. Add the basil sprig and remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt. You can refrigerate any unused sauce for up to 3 days.
Instant Pot Beans: I made the beans in the Instant Pot with the vegetables. The vegetables do get a bit overcooked, so next time I would chop them a little larger. 50 minutes on high pressure seemed to be good. It's possible they would have been perfect at 45 minutes. But at 40 minutes, they weren't done yet.
Recipe by Pamela Salzman at https://pamelasalzman.com/oven-baked-giant-beans-with-tomato-dill-and-feta-recipe/