Gigandes plaki, also spelled Gigantes or Yigandes (Greek "γίγαντες πλακί", pronounced [ˈʝiɣades plaˈci]) is a Greek dish known in English as giant baked beans. The name Gigantes comes from the Greek word for giants, hence giant beans. Gigandes plaki is a vegetarian meze dish that consists of large white runner beans (gigantes) cooked in a tomato-based sauce.
Although there are many variations to this popular dish, it usually consists of Greek fasolia gigandes (giant white beans), tomatoes, onions, olive oil, parsley, and sugar. When fasolia gigandes cannot be obtained, large lima beans are suitable substitutes. Other vegetables such as garlic, carrots, and celery are sometimes used, and some recipes even use sausages.
As with many beans, the fasolia gigandes must be soaked 24 hours in plenty of cold water. Then the beans are boiled until tender and the rest of ingredients are added. The cooking method for the gigandes plaki is to sauté all of the ingredients for 20 minutes. Then the beans are baked in the oven until the top layer of the dish is slightly charred from the sugar reacting to the heat. The beans are garnished with parsley and Greek feta, then served with Greek bread alongside this dish.
Traditionally, gigandes plaki are served as a meze alongside other side dishes. However, this dish is filling enough to be eaten for lunch. This hearty meze is popular during the cold fall and winter months. As with many Greek dishes, bread is used to dip in to the tomato sauce drippings.
Overall, gigandes plaki is a healthy and nutritious food. It is a rich source for anti-oxidants from the tomatoes, and fiber from the other vegetables, and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans if the sausages and cheese are excluded.
- Pilaki and Piyaz, similar Turkish dishes.
- Rajma, an Indian bean dish.
- Red beans and rice, a Louisiana Creole specialty.
- Fasolia Gigantes - Greek Giant Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce recipe - All recipes UK, accessed 2011-07-17
- Organically cooked: Gigandes (Γίγαντες - baked butter beans)
- Gigantes (Greek Giant Baked Beans Recipe - Recipezaar, accessed 2011-07-17
- Recipe from BBC Good Food, accessed 2011-07-17
- Gigantes/Yiyantes (Greek Giant Baked Beans)