Hailing from Greece, these quite striking beans are coloured Gigantes-Elephantes. Usually if you find Gigantes they will be an all white bean which looks like this
The other thing you'll immediately notice about these beans are their size which I'll illustrate
Here we can see a coloured Gigantes and regular Haricot beans - they do live up to having Giant in their name.
The dish I've made is my version of Gigantes Plaki - it's basically a simple stew of beans that is usually served as a Meze offering.
Baked Gigantes Beans
250 grams coloured Gigantes-Elephantes Beans
1 red onion, sliced finely
1 carrot, diced finely
1 stick of celery, diced finely
1 can/440 grams diced tomatoes (use fresh tomatoes if in season)
salt and pepper
handful parsley leaves, chopped
Prepare the beans:
Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl of water.
In a large oven proof dish, add a good glug of olive oil and place on a low heat. Add in the finely diced onion, carrot and celery and cook slowly until softened and just starting to colour.
Tumble in the drained, soaked beans along with the tomatoes and a handful of chopped parsley leaves. Stir and then add enough water to cover the beans. Let this come back to simmering point and then place in a preheated 160°C/320°F oven.
Let this cook until the beans have softened - this will at least take a couple of hours. Be sure to check the beans at least every half an hour and top up with more water if they are running dry.
The finished dish should have quite a thick sauce. Season only when the beans have cooked through - if you add salt earlier than this, the beans will harden and no matter how long you cook them they won't soften.