Beans or pulses are often served in our home and we have several favorite dishes, mainly Lenten. During Orthodox fasting days, when meat or any animal-derived products are prohibited, these dishes are served with fresh-baked bread; other times, they are served with feta cheese and herring on the side. The best quality broad beans or gigantes—literally, giants in Greek—are from the northern city of Florina and its environs.
Classic Greek meze
It’s a simple dish to make. Don’t be daunted by the long preparation time as most is cooking time. Gigantes plaki is one of those dishes you make in double or triple batches as it keeps well, and is even tastier on the second or third day. It’s also a classic Greek meze, a sharing dish served to accompany wine, tsipouro, or ouzo. This is the traditional recipe for gigantes, updated with a little tweak.
Cook the broad beans and cut the onions, herbs, garlic, carrot, tomatoes and oranges.
Prepare the sauce and pour it over the broad beans. I love to season some oregano over it before it all goes into the oven.
Cook until the beans are very tender and have absorbed most of the sauce. Hot or room temperature, Gigantes Plaki are tasty either way!