GREEK STYLE GIGANTES & SPINACH CASSEROLE
- 1 pound giant butter or lima beans, soaked in water overnight
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1 (28 ounce can of tomatoes) pureed in blender
- 2 teaspoons (or more) sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2-3 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pound baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
- 3-4 roasted red or yellow peppers, from the jar
- 1-pound feta cheese
- Place beans in a large pot covered with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook the beans about 35-40 minutes or until tender but not mushy. They will continue cooking in the oven. Strain the beans and place them in a 9x13inch baking dish.
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F, 190 °C.
- Combine onions, garlic cloves, and olive oil in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until soft and golden. About 15 minutes. Smash the garlic cloves with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add the tomato puree, salt, sugar, and spices to the pan and cook about 10-15 minutes or until the sauce thickens a bit.
- Pour the sauce over the beans and mix well.
- Fold in the chopped roasted peppers and taste. Season with more salt if desired.
- Add the spinach leaves in 4-5 batches folding each batch gently until it wilts taking care not to mash the beans.
- Bake uncovered for 50 minutes.
- Remove the baking pan from the oven and crumble the feta over the beans. Return to the center rack of the oven and bake 10 more minutes.
- During the final 5 minutes of baking turn on the top broiler to caramelize/char the top slightly. Keep an eye on it so that it does not burn.
- Serve with toasted bread. Enjoy!
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