Beans are a really important part of a vegetarian or vegan diet. They are a great source of protein, fibre and iron. They're really filling too and low in fat, so pretty darn perfect.
We love baked beans on toast, adding a variety of beans to our chilli, making them into pate, mixing beans through salads or in a simple dish like this fasolia gigantes, which is basically a simple Greek bean dish.
This is originally a peasant dish. As you travel the world you'll find many local veggie dishes started out this way. They were cheap and would feed a family easily. I'm not complaining. To me this is a feast.
Graham and I first had this dish in a Greek Cypriot home in the hills just outside Paphos in South Cyprus. The family served meat and fish dishes too, but we happily tucked in to this bean dish with salad and freshly baked village bread.
When I got home I had to recreate it and I've been tweaking it over the years. It's easy to make, frugal and full of flavour.
Rustic Greek Beans (Fasolia Gigantes)
A peasant Greek Bean Stew made with cannellini beans. A great family meal that's easy to pull together and very tasty.Serve with salad and crusty bread or with a selection of veg.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, halved and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 800g cooked cannellini beans (tinned are fine just rinse well)
- 800g chopped tomatoes (tinned are fine)
- 4 tsp dried oregano
- 3 tsp dried thyme
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tbsp agave nectar (or honey)
- 1-2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 100ml white wine (red would be good for a richer flavour)
- a good grinding of salt and black pepper
1. In a large pot saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion is soft. 2. Add the beans and tomatoes.3. Add all the spices, vinegar and wine.4. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30-40 minutes until the sauce is rich.5. Season with salt and pepper.6. Enjoy.
Yield: Serves 3-4
Here are a few of our favourite bean recipes: