500g dried butter beans
400g tin of tomatoes
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
180ml olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Salt & ground black pepper

Serves four

This is a Greek dish, and if you want to show off, tell people you’re making Gigantes Plaki.

Soak the beans overnight. Rinse, and cook in unsalted water until soft (this usually takes 45 minutes to an hour). Drain and set aside while you’re making the sauce.

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onions gently for a few minutes until soft. Add the chopped garlic and continue to cook on a low heat for a further minute or so. Add the tomatoes to the pan, together with the herbs and seasoning.

Put the beans into an oven dish and pour the sauce over. Bake in a preheated oven at 350oF/180oC/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes.

This is a really versatile dish that is great as a main course with brown rice or to accompany a piece of grilled meat like a lamb or pork chop. It is even great cold as a lunch, or served as a salad or with a barbeque.

If you want to make it meaty, fry some sliced chorizo or other sausage with the onion and garlic and then continue the recipe as normal.

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