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Katerina's Kouzina

Gigantes Plaki: Baked Broad Beans

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!

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½ kilo Florina gigantes (broad beans)
A few stalks of celery leaves, minced
1 carrot, sliced
Black peppercorns
2 onions, finely chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup olive oil
A pinch each of salt, pepper, sugar, oregano
½ cup parsley, minced
2 cans of whole stewed tomatoes, sliced
2 large fresh tomatoes, sliced
2 organic oranges, sliced (if not organic, scrub well before slicing)


1. Soak broad beans overnight, or for at least 12 hours. Drain and transfer to a large pot of boiling water. Cover and cook until tender. Drain cooked beans and arrange in a clay baking dish.
2. Heat olive oil in a small pan. Lightly brown onions and garlic in the olive oil. Add stewed tomatoes, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, and sugar. Bring sauce to a boil, then let simmer for a few minutes.
3. Remove sauce from heat. Stir in parsley. Pour sauce over beans. Arrange tomato and orange slices over the sauce. Season lightly with salt, pepper, and oregano; pour a little olive oil over the top.
4. Cook in oven at 165C for 1 hour. Check occasionally, adding a little water if necessary to prevent sticking. Cook until beans are very tender and have absorbed most of the sauce. Remove from oven.
5. Serve hot or room temperature—the dish is as tasty.

Servings : 6 people
Recipe Type : Vegetarian

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