Giant Beans Baked with Sorrel

Giant Beans Baked with Sorrel
Staff Writer
Giant Beans Baked with Sorrel

Vassilis Stenos

Giant Beans Baked with Sorrel

Sorrel, with its lightly sour flavor, is a popular green in Epirus, in the northwestern corner of Greece, where this recipe is from.

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Notes

Note: Here's a variation you might want to try. Giant Beans Baked with Leeks: Follow the recipe, omitting the sorrel. Cut 3 leeks, white and tender green parts, into ½-inch-thick rounds and cook with the garlic and onions.

*Note: Or, chop and sauté the sorrel in 1 tablespoon of olive oil to soften.

Ingredients

  • 8  Ounces  dried Greek giant or elephant beans, picked over, rinsed, soaked overnight in water to cover, and drained
  • 2  Pounds  sorrel, stemmed and chopped finely
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1  Cup  extra-virgin Greek olive oil
  • 2  Cups  finely chopped red onions
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • Dash of  cayenne
  • 1  Cup  canned or fresh peeled, seeded, and chopped plum tomatoes
  • Juice of 1 lemon, strained

Directions

Put the drained beans in a pot with enough water to cover by 3 inches and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the beans until al dente, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, put the sorrel in a large colander and sprinkle lightly with salt. With the palm of one hand, rub the mixture against the holes of the colander, almost in a kneading motion, so that the greens exude liquid. Do this for 10 minutes, then put a plate over the greens and a weight over the plate (such as a large can of tomatoes) and leave to drain for 1 hour.* Add to the beans in the last step.

Heat 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the onions and garlic, stirring, until soft. Season with salt, to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Drain the beans and reserve their cooking liquid. Combine the beans, drained sorrel, and onion-garlic mixture in a large casserole. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cayenne. Add the tomatoes and remaining olive oil and toss.

Pour enough of the reserved bean cooking liquid into the casserole to cover the beans by about ¾ inch. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake for about 1 ½ hours, tossing occasionally and adding more liquid as necessary to keep the beans moist as they bake. The beans are ready when they are extremely creamy and soft in consistency, but are not disintegrating. (Depending on the age and condition of the dried beans, this could take anywhere from 1-2 ½ hours.) About 5 minutes before removing from the oven, stir in the lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
50g
71%
Sugar
31g
34%
Saturated Fat
5g
21%
Carbohydrate, by difference
47g
36%
Protein
2g
4%
Vitamin A, RAE
57µg
8%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
21mg
28%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
43µg
48%
Calcium, Ca
62mg
6%
Choline, total
11mg
3%
Fiber, total dietary
4g
16%
Folate, total
23µg
6%
Iron, Fe
1mg
6%
Magnesium, Mg
22mg
7%
Niacin
1mg
7%
Phosphorus, P
62mg
9%
Selenium, Se
1µg
2%
Sodium, Na
171mg
11%
Water
287g
11%

Bean Shopping Tip

Legumes are high in a number of nutrients, especially protein and fiber – filling you up with relatively few calories.

Bean Cooking Tip

Beans are done when they can be easily mashed with a fork – make sure to test a few in case they have not cooked evenly.