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Healthy Eating, Mains, Sides, Vegetarian

Baked gigantes (oven-baked white beans)

Baked gigantes (oven-baked white beans)
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

These days, when Alexandra Panousis takes her girls out to cut weeds for dinner, she stays in the car, directing the action from the front seat of a new Jaguar. Not those, she tells her daughter, Elaine Panousis. You want ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes plus soaking time for the beans | Serves 6 to 8
  • 1 pound dried gigantes or large lima beans
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 1/4 cups hot vegetable broth, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • Pinch dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Pepper
  • 1 lemon

Step 1Soak the beans. To cold-soak them, cover with plenty of cold water and let them stand overnight. To hot-soak them, cover them with plenty of boiling water and let stand 1 hour.

Step 2Drain the beans and place them in a large saucepan. Add cold water to cover, season with 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until crisp-tender, 30 minutes to 1 hour (the timing can vary widely and will depend on the type and age of the beans), then drain the beans.

Step 3Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the olive oil, garlic and the onions in a baking dish and bake until the onions soften and turn golden, about 15 minutes. Add the beans to the onion mixture, stirring to coat, and return to the oven for 15 more minutes.

Step 4Gently stir in the hot broth, parsley, dried red pepper flakes, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt and one-eighth teaspoon pepper, or to taste, and bake until the beans are tender and buttery, 20 minutes to 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. If the mixture begins to dry out before the beans are tender, add a little more broth.

Step 5Before serving, season to taste and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Note: This recipe is based on one by Alexia Haidos. Gigantes beans can be found at Greek markets and select cooking supply stores. You can substitute 1 (14-ounce) can of tomato sauce or stewed tomatoes for the fresh tomatoes.

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