Sarakosti is a momentous fasting period for Christians. It is an integral part of the religion but also an important part of Greece’s folklore history and tradition. It mainly includes the fasting of meat, fish and animal byproducts. It starts with Clean Monday and ends on Holy Saturday.
There are some fasting foods enjoyed throughout this period, such as taramasalata, horta (greens), grilled seafood, traditional lagana bread, black eyed peas, giant beans in tomato sauce and many more.
Today we will share with you one of the most delicious recipes of the 40y day fasting period: Giant Beans with tomato sauce and herbs. In Greece this recipe called “Gigantes Plaki”. Gigantes are a type of large white beans, gigantas in Greek means giant. Plaki refers to the method of cooking which means that the food is baked in the oven with a rich tomato sauce, onion, garlic and parsley.
Also this dish combines beans which are of course a great source of protein, antioxidants and fiber, while the addition of tomato not only makes them tastier but also the vitamin C in tomatoes helps increase the absorption of iron from the beans.
- 450g Giant beans
- 2 tomatoes grated or diced or canned crushed tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves peeled
- 2 onions thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste mixed with a bit of water
- 1 cup olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Soak the Giant Beans in water overnight and change the water of the bowl twice. Preheat oven at 180 °C and in the meantime prepare the sauce. Sauté the onion in a bit of olive oil on low heat until they become soft and add the garlic cloves. Then chop in little pieces the tomatoes and add them in the pan with the tomato paste, the parsley, salt and pepper and about ¼ cup olive oil. Let them to be cooked all together in the fire for about 10 minutes.
Once the beans have boiled, drain them and put them back into the pot, with the boiled tomato sauce and mix them gently. Pour the mixture in a pan and spread evenly. Then pour the leftover cup of olive oil over the beans and bake for about 45 minutes until beans became tender.
Ideally, you can serve it with feta cheese and some bread.
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