Greek Roasted Beans with Spinach- Gigantes me Spanaki

In Greek cuisine it is a common practice to combine beans with other ingredients such as greens, meat, rice and even fish. The famous “gigantes” beans that are usually cooked with tomato cooked and this version is more of a wintery recipe combining these white beans with spinach. The word gigantes means the giant ones, and they are a popular bean here in Greece. Gigantes from several areas of Greece have a Protected Geographical Indication status due to the unique environment that these beans are grown in. If you find them – use them, otherwise you can use butter beans or even smaller white beans.

Obviously this dish is bursting with nutrients; antioxidants, fiber, good fats. But have no fear, as with all Greek dishes, they have made it an art of making vegetables and beans delicious. You may serve this as a side dish or as a sharing appetizer, but the best is to serve it as a main dish. You’ll fulfill a large percentage of your daily requirement in vegetables and beans. For those eating cheese, you can serve it with feta and some bread, otherwise it is equally good without cheese.

Greek Roasted Beans and Spinach- Gigantes me Spanaki

Yield: 2 Mains

Greek Roasted Beans and Spinach- Gigantes me Spanaki

Ingredients

  • 1 cup beans (gigantes or butter beans)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 spring onions sliced (only white)
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 250 grams spinach
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped dill
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Lemon for serving

Instructions

  1. Soak the beans in water overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit)
  3. Rinse the beans and simmer in water until soft but not falling apart, for about an hour (may take less-check after 30 minutes). Remove from water and rinse.
  4. In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onion and the spring onion for about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté for a few seconds until it releases its aroma.
  5. Add the spinach and heat until wilted.
  6. Mix the spinach mixture with the beans gently. Add the dill and 2 tablespoons olive oil and blend.
  7. Place into an ovenproof dish, add salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven, drizzle with another tablespoon olive oil. You can serve with a squeeze of lemon.
  10. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Photo by Elena Paravantes© All Rights Reserved

You Might Also Like

4 Comments

  • Reply Christine February 15, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    This looks delicious! My family loves gigante beans. They are incredibly meaty and they have an amazing texture . They cook up so much faster than any other dry beans, which is surprising since they are so huge. I’ve only had the preparation involving tomato. It is one of my favorite bean recipes for summer, when vine ripened tomatoes are available. I will try this recipe, as soon as I can get my hands on a bag of beans. They are hard to find in the US and expensive.

    • Reply Elena February 17, 2017 at 6:52 am

      Thanks Christine! You can use butter beans or just plain white beans too.

  • Reply Roxanne March 10, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Elena, I just made this and am so pleased with the dish! My dad was Greek and I grew up and still enjoy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. I used canned Goya Giant Beans ( available in US) which I rinsed before adding. I also added finely chopped celery and carrots and a tablespoon of tomato paste to the onions and garlic in the pan before adding the spinach. I use low sodium chicken or veggie soup mix, wine and water to cook/steam the veggies so I can cut back on the oil. I used curly spinach which I hand chopped. I love the fresh dill and lemon in this dish. I transferred the beans and spinach to a covered ovenproof dish and baked at 300F for 90 minutes. Took the cover off immediately out of the oven and let the extra liquid evaporate and thicken the dish. Just wonderful – love your site!

    • Reply Elena March 15, 2017 at 9:37 am

      Thank you for input Roxanne. Although I wouldn’t try to cut down on the olive oil, the presence of olive oil apart from contributing to the palatability is also one of the reasons that this diet is healthy.

    Leave a Reply