A couple weekends ago I wanted gigantes, but I didn’t want to wait hours and hours while the dried beans cooked, and then wait again to cook tomatoes down into sauce. I was grocery shopping and came across just what I needed to cheat and have gigantes in about one hour.
Canned large lima beans can be used in place of gigantes, and a ready-made tomato sauce is an obvious choice for a quick fix.
I had this gorgeous maroon carrot,
you can use whatever color you like, but I’m partial to the deep maroon outside and bright orange inside. You just need one large carrot.
Slice, and cut into quarters or halves.
Cut up lots of onion, pretty much as much as you want. You can’t really see them, but there are also a few cloves of garlic here, chopped. I’d use at least 5.
Cook the onion, garlic and carrots over medium heat in lots and lots of olive oil. Cook until the onions soften.
After draining and rinsing the beans, add them to the mix.
Here’s another cheat: dried dill. They didn’t have fresh dill at the market where I was shopping. Season to taste. I love dill, so for me it’s hard to add too much.
Another cheat: dried parsley along with the store-bought sauce. Again, season to taste. You’ll also need to add pepper and plenty of salt.
Let it all cook for 5 to 10 minutes. While you’re waiting, preheat the oven to 400.
Then pour the beans into a large baking dish. At this point, I added more olive oil and chopped garlic. Let it bake about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken. You can cover the dish with foil if you don’t want the beans & veggies to brown.
Although you want the sauce to thicken a little, it should still be loose enough to dip bread in it. This looks really thick, but when you stir it…
you can see it’s just loose enough. I made this for dinner at Tete’s house on a day when we had falafel, hummus, and salata, and sister brought skordalia from the monastery (it looks like a big bowl of butter, but no. It’s super garlicky potatoes with olive oil, basically).
Oh yeah, and we also had green beans and rice to go with our falafel sandwiches. The skordalia went well with the “gigantes”. Of course making things fresh from scratch is ideal, but once in a while we all need to cheat. What’s your favorite cheat?