16

Gigantes: Greek Giant Baked Beans

Veganopoulous Gigantes Greek Giant Baked Beans

I’m really pleased to share another of my family’s recipes with you, this time my mum’s awesome Greek giant baked beans. Known as Gigantes or Yigantes, this is a perfect autumn-winter dish and pretty simple to make. The word ‘gigantes’ in Greek means giant, and if you’ve seen these on a menu listed as Gigantes Plaki, the ‘plaki’ refers to a dish being cooked in a tomato based sauce.

Veganopoulous Gigantes Greek Giant Baked Beans

Everyone makes this differently and as always, you can add a little of this or that. My mum doesn’t use garlic in her recipe and I think they’re fine without it but if you want to add some when sauteeing the veggies, go ahead! If you don’t like dill, you can add a little fresh parsley instead. If you want to make this an oil free dish, that’s fine too– you can just do the sautee step in a little broth or water.

Some recipes in cookbooks and online include the addition of sugar. I personally don’t think it’s needed and when I’ve tried the tinned ready made gigantes, they’re always a bit too sweet for me.

The cooking process is pretty straightforward and I’ve put together this little step by step photo illustration to tie in with the instructions further down:

Veganopoulous Gigantes Greek Giant Baked Beans

If you want to soak your giant beans overnight, go ahead. Mum says she never bothers and when she has soaked the beans, it makes no difference to the finished meal. Not soaking may mean your stove top cooking takes a bit longer.

The gigantes shown in my photos here are quite thick without a heap of sauce. We kinda forgot to take the beans out of the oven earlier so there’s not as much liquid butttt this isn’t necessarily a problem because I love them this way too! If you like slightly more soupy, you can reduce the cooking time. Veganopoulous Gigantes Greek Giant Baked Beans

Simple, delicious and nutritious! These beans are great on toast too  🙂

Veganopoulous Gigantes Greek Giant Baked Beans

Gigantes: Greek Giant Baked Beans
Print Recipe
Perfect for autumn and winter, this classic Greek dish is both easy to make and delicious. No need for the tinned versions or waiting for your next trip to a Greek restaurant!
Servings Prep Time
8 serves 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes in the oven 30-40 on stove
Servings Prep Time
8 serves 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes in the oven 30-40 on stove
Gigantes: Greek Giant Baked Beans
Print Recipe
Perfect for autumn and winter, this classic Greek dish is both easy to make and delicious. No need for the tinned versions or waiting for your next trip to a Greek restaurant!
Servings Prep Time
8 serves 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes in the oven 30-40 on stove
Servings Prep Time
8 serves 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes in the oven 30-40 on stove
Ingredients
Servings: serves
Instructions
  1. Optional step: Soak your beans overnight if you prefer. Make sure the beans are well covered in water. Drain and rinse the beans.
  2. Put the beans in a large pot and fill the pot with water until the water is about one and half inches above the beans. Bring to a boil then simmer until the beans are tender, about 30-40 minutes. Test three beans by gently squeezing them. If you've soaked your beans beforehand, check around the 20 minute mark onwards. The beans should not feel mushy. Drain the beans in to a colander and let them sit while you prepare the veggies.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180C (or the 'moderate' setting).
  4. In the same pot, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sautee the carrots, onion and celery until tender on a medium heat.
  5. Add the drained beans to the veggie mixture in the pot. Sprinkle over the paprika and stir gently.
  6. Put the 500ml of passata in a large jug and add enough water to make one litre. Stir the tomato-water mixture and mix it in with the beans and veggies.
  7. Add another litre of water to the beans and veg and stir gently. Add in the salt, chopped dill and optional 2 tablespoons of olive oil. It will look like a very runny watery soup-- don't despair!
  8. Mix everything well then pour in to a large baking dish or casserole dish. Add pepper to taste if you like or more salt. Cover the dish tightly with foil and cook for about 40 minutes, checking at the half hour mark.
  9. Remove the foil and cook for another ten minutes. Keep an eye on the level of liquid in the beans. You don't want them to dry out!
  10. Remove from the oven when the beans are to your liking-- either with a fair bit of sauciness or more a thick stew. Keep in mind the mixture thickens more the next day.
  11. Serve the gigantes on their own, or with thick chunks of bread.
Recipe Notes

I've listed 30 to 40 minutes as the passive cooking time-- this is for the beans cooking on the stove before they go in the oven.

If you don't like dill, add in a little chopped flat leaf parsley to your liking.

If you are oil-free, sautee the veggies in some broth or water.

If you want more of a garlic flavour, add a large clove of finely chopped garlic to the pot when you sautee the veggies.

Some people like to pre-cook the beans with a dried bay leaf in the water.

Share this Recipe
 
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
8

Greek Soccer Club Style Jackfruit Souvlaki

vegan jackfruit souvlaki

Growing up in a Greek home meant lots of soccer matches down at the local Greek club. For bigger matches, souvlakia (that’s the plural in Greek) were for sale. The same kinds of souvlakia were always available at the annual Greek Orthodox church celebrations too. You’d line up with a ticket, get your souvlaki in a paper napkin then stand around with family and stuff yourself.

In November, the Greek church near my parents held their annual feast day so Mum and I got to talking about how to veganise the souvlakia and I knew I’d have to use roasted jackfruit. The marinade was easy enough: olive oil, garlic, dried oregano. Some people liked to add a little lemon juice to the marinade but it was mostly without. The onion relish though was where the bite came from, just a simple mix of chopped onions and fresh flat leaf parsley all stuffed in to a long bread roll.

By now I’m sure you all know about the many uses of jackfruit in dishes such as vegan pulled pork. It certainly is great for that purpose but because my early experiments with jackfruit involved roasting,I wanted to stick to that for this recipe, because CRISPY BITS.

Although jackfruit isn’t something I’m over the moon about, it’s fun to experiment with. I’m playing around with a jackfruit-beef Bourguignon (just need to find the right red wine!). Fun times! Let’s just hope I can continue to find a steady supply of canned jackfruit in brine.

This jackfruit souvlaki doesn’t claim to taste exactly like that you’d find at your Greek soccer club or church celebration, but the flavours are there. For me, veganising my family’s recipes, or recipes from childhood means I try to keep the flavours and ingredients as close to the original as possible, no matter how simple the dish (like this one). I had a nice trip down memory lane, and onion breath for hours. Just like old times. Opa!

vegan jackfruit souvlaki

 

Greek Soccer Club Style Jackfruit Souvlaki
Print Recipe
A jackfruited, vegan version of the simple souvlaki sold at the Greek soccer clubs and churches when I was growing up. The onions and parsley really make this but if you're a hater of raw onion, feel free to leave it out and add in tomato, caramelised onion or whatever you like.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Greek Soccer Club Style Jackfruit Souvlaki
Print Recipe
A jackfruited, vegan version of the simple souvlaki sold at the Greek soccer clubs and churches when I was growing up. The onions and parsley really make this but if you're a hater of raw onion, feel free to leave it out and add in tomato, caramelised onion or whatever you like.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Jackfruit Souvlaki 'meat'
Onion relish
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to about 180C if you're not going to let the jackfruit marinate for a while. Line a baking tray with baking paper (or use a non-stick tray). Drain the can of jackfruit. Separate the jackfruit chunks so you get large-ish stringy bits. For the harder bits, you can chop them in to little pieces (some people prefer to discard the harder bits). There were little seedy bits too which I discarded.
  2. Squeezing excess liquid from the shredded jackfruit, place it all in a bowl with the lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, dried oregano and salt. Give it all a good stir and let it marinate for at least an hour. Lay it out on the baking tray, evenly spaced. Roast for about half an hour but keep checking every seven minutes or so because the outside bits may get a bit too crispy and burnt.
  3. While the jackfruit is roasting, simply mix your diced onion with the parsley. Slice your bread roll lengthwise down the centre. When the jackfruit is done, pop it in the bread rolls and top with the onion-parsley.
Share this Recipe
 
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe