Gigantes plaki - braised white beans

Vegetarian, Soy Free

6 Servings, 170 Calories/Serving

30 - 40 Minutes

These hefty white beans can absorb the flavors of this rich broth without falling apart. Plaki describes how they’re traditionally cooked—the word means “spread out,” which is what happens when they're cooked in a skillet or flat dish. Served on toast, they're a perfect appetizer. Add a poached egg and sausage to turn these beans into a luscious brunch or dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked gigante beans (from 1/3 cup dried; see note) - or drained canned butter or cannellini beans
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil - divided
  • ½ medium yellow onion - peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ rib celery - finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic - peeled and finely chopped - plus 1 whole clove for rubbing (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • ¼ cup lightly salted chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves (from about 2 sprigs)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2/3 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3 to 4 pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh mint
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • Thick slices crusty bread - for serving

Instructions

1

Start the beans

Heat the oven to 325°F.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute. Add the beans, chicken stock, chopped tomatoes, oregano, sugar, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring a few times, until the liquid is thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.

2

Bake the beans

Pour the bean mixture into a small ovenproof dish, and bake until the flavors meld and some of the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Discard the bay leaf. While the beans bake, prepare the tomatoes, olives, and herbs.

3

Prep the cherry tomatoes, olives, and herbs

  • Cut cherry tomatoes in half.
  • Finely chop the olives.
  • Strip the parsley and mint leaves from their stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
In a bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, olives, parsley, mint, and feta with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4

Toast the bread

In a toaster, grill pan, or on the stovetop over a flame, toast the bread slices. Rub them with the cut side of a garlic clove, if desired.

5

Serve

Transfer the toasts to individual plates. Spoon the beans on top. Top with the cherry tomato-feta mixture and serve.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 170, Protein: 4 g, Total Fat: 13 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 10 mg, Carbohydrates: 10 g, Fiber: 2 g, Added Sugar: 0 g, Sodium: 320 mg

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