April 14, 2011

Gigantes Fournou - Giant white beans with tomatoes

Hi! I am back! More than two weeks since our laptop died and finally a couple of days ago we got a brand new CPU! The last days I have spent downloading and updating several programs, so now it should work to the better. Since we bought the CPU only and not the keyboard and monitor (using what we already have), the technician has turned the keyboard upside down, so I do not find the keys I need... Very annoying, so I will have to check that out!
  I have done a little bit cooking over the last weeks, which I want to share with you. The highlight is *cooking with MIL*, but that will be another post... 

Once in a lifetime, I think visiting Greece or any of the Greek Islands, is almost a must. I have not travelled mainland Greece, except a few hours visiting Acropolis in Athens.  I have had the opportunity to visit a few Greek Islands, like Poros, Kalymnos, Santorini, Zakynthos and two trips to Crete. Greek food is said to be very healthy and tasty, and yes, I agree! What tastes better than tzatziki, olives, Greek bread and a chilled glass of Retsina (Greek white wine) on a warm and sunny summer day?! It is impossible to describe - it has to be tasted!

I am not going to talk about tzatziki today... I am going to talk about white beans with tomatoes - Gigantes Fournou - which is considered as a dish for the autumn, but is eaten all year round. Usually Gigantes Fournou is part of meze served at Greek restaurants, but is also served as a main dish at home.
Ah, talking about Greek food is just like I can sense the smell of Greece! And can you hear the zorba in the background?! Or perhaps you have watched the film Zorba the Greek - starring Anthony Quinn?  
Sidetracked! Here is the recipe...

It is an easy dish to make.

400 grams Greek fasolia gigantes or similar tried big, white beans. (I used a mix of butter beans and smaller white beans - do not know what they are called).
1,5 dl olive oil extra virgin
2-3 onions (approx 300 grams) shopped
1 celery stick - thin slices
2 carrots - small cubes
3 garlic cloves - crushed in a mortar
1 tsp tried oregano
1 tsp tried thyme
1 tin tomatoes - chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree mixed with 3 dl warm water
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp parsley leaves - chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Extra for the topping
grated cheese
Louisiana Cajun spices

- Soak the beans in water the night over. Remove the water, rinse the beans and remove water again. Add water and boil the beans until almost done. Remove water and set aside.
- Heat oven to 180C / 350F.
- Heat oil in a pan, fry onion until golden.

- Add crushed garlic (I love garlic and usually use more than the recipe says).

- Add celery, carrots and herbs. (I did not get celery stick, so I used head of celery instead - what a delicious smell!).

- When you get the smell of fried garlic, add the tomatoes, cover and let boil for 10 min. 

- Add tomato puree mixed with water.
- Add sugar and chopped parsley.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.

- Add the mix to an oven-proof dish and bake for 30 minutes.
I love cheese, and added some grated cheese as well as Louisiana Cajun spices before it goes in the oven.
What makes this dish so yummy is the combination of celery and parsley as well as the herbs and tomatoes. 

Recipe from The Greek Cook - by Rena Salaman (translated into Norwegian).

No comments: