By admin | January 30, 2012

BY JOANNE BRUNO

To put it bluntly; I miss summer foods. I miss tomatoes that taste like sunshine, berries that brighten up your day, flavors so fresh that they remind you of a walk on the beach.

Normally I just remind myself that the warm weather will come, bringing with it the produce that I crave.  But when all of this nostalgia gets to be too much to bear…I fake it.

Tomatoes, dill and parsley with some feta sprinkled on top.  Giant lima beans added in for sustenance.  This is the stuff that summer dreams are made of.

Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans) Recipe

Serves 4, adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients:
1 lb dried gigantes or lima beans
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
red pepper flakes, to taste
28 oz canned diced tomatoes (I used San Marzano!)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup dill, chopped
Feta cheese, for sprinkling on top (optional)

Method:

  1. Soak the dried gigantes in water with the bay leaves overnight.  The next day, bring to a boil and then simmer until beans are tender, about 40-50 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  While beans are cooking, heat the oil in a pan.  Saute the onion and carrot and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Add the garlic and chili pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add in the tomatoes, paprika, and oregano and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
  3. Season the tomato sauce with salt and pepper to taste.  Mix in the parsley and the dill, along with the beans, and 1/2 cup of the liquid that the beans were cooking in.  Pour into a large Dutch oven or casserole dish.
  4. Bake until the top is browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 50-60 minutes.  Garnish with feta cheese if desired.

Joanne Bruno is a food writer and third year MD/PhD student.  Find more of her delicious ramblings over at her blog: Eats Well With Others. 

Photos: Joanne Bruno

For more of Joanne’s recipes, follow me on Twitter (@Marcus Cooks)

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