This recipe is from Epirus, northern Greece, via Rick Stein’s beautiful book From Venice to Istanbul. And rounds off the Beans beans beans! compilation to a tee.
Again we’ve been well lazy with our beans (think we may have worn ourselves out with the soaking we gave the njahi beans) and we’ve adapted this recipe for jarred gigantes beans. It’s all about balance!
And hearty, earthy, tasty meals like this.
Horta, as you well know, is the Greek catch-all word for greens.
30mins | serves 4 – 6 | très easy
500g jar gigantes beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tin chopped tomatoes
350g horta – spinach, chard, dandelion, nettle, whatevs ya have – we’ve got Turkish spinach for ours
handful mint leaves, chopped
handful parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
Gently soften the onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes or so, adding the garlic for the last few seconds. When soft, stir in the paprika, tomato paste, tomatoes, beans, and 100ml of water. Season.
Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Stir in your chosen horta and cook for another 5, seasoning again. If your using chard it will need a bit longer.
Then add the herbs, stirring them through right before serving.
The people of Epirus bake this dish as per the recipe in Rick’s book – and I imagine it’s really, really good done that way. What can I say, busy lives!
Gigantes with tomatoes and greens from ‘From Venice to Istanbul’ on BBC good food.