Oven baked giant beans are among the favourite foods of my childhood. Now that Fall has arrived and the weather is getting colder, I’m testing a new version of my mum’s giant beans, adding leeks and 2 types of Daphnis and Chloe oregano to her original recipe. I selected the marjoram-scented oregano from Cephalonia for its freshness and the one from Taygetus for its pepperiness. Beans are heavy so taste apart, oregano facilitates digestion.
Ingredients: 400 gr giant beans, 1 leek (thinly sliced), 1 red onion (roughly chopped), 2 carrots (sliced), a can of whole peeled tomatoes, salt, pepper, olive oil, oregano.
Soak the beans overnight or for at least 8 hours. Remove from soaking liquid, and place in a pot with ample fresh water. Bring to a boil over high heat, discard the foam that gets created on top, then reduce the flame to low and simmer the beans for approximately 1 ½ hour, or until al dente. About 15 minutes before removing the beans from the heat, season with salt. Drain and reserve the boiling liquid. As the beans simmer, heat the 4 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium heat, and sauté the leeks, onions and carrots for about 5 mins. Roughly chop the canned tomatoes and add them in the skillet.
Preheat the oven to 190 C. Place the beans and mixture in an ovenproof baking dish. Add a cup of the reserved bean cooking liquid, as well as 2 tablespoons olive oil and the liquid of the canned tomatoes. There should be a fair amount of liquid in the dish. Season with the salt, pepper, and oreganos. Cover the dish with oven paper and bake for about 1 hour, or until the beans are very tender and their centers creamy. Serve with feta.