Marinated Gigantes Beans
Updated: Mar 26, 2019
Gigantes beans, as the name suggests, are giant-sized beans. Once cooked, these white beans swell to become smooth and delicious. Dried, however, they sometimes look papery and as if they are about to fall apart. Never fear – treat them gently throughout the process and you’ll be rewarded with amazing tasting legume-goodness bursting with fiber, protein and vitamin C!
Serves 6 - 8
1 lb bag dried gigantes beans (a slightly smaller or bigger bag is OK)
1 small onion, skin on and halved
1 celery, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly copped
3 cloves garlic
4 sprigs thyme
1 large bay leaf
3 leaves sage
1 leek, white and green parts only, roughly chopped (optional)
One 2” x 5” strip kombu (optional)
¼ cup fresh dill leaves, roughly chopped
1 large shallot, finely minced
½ cup mild or neutral oil (like grapeseed, safflower, or avocado)
2 tbsp really good quality olive oil
2 – 3 tbsp good quality red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt or to taste
Place the beans in a large pot and soak for 8 hours or overnight
Strain off the water and cover the beans by at least 3 inches of fresh cold water. Salt the water, like you would if you were making pasta, until has a nice salty taste (but not overly salty).
Add the aromatics and herbs: onion, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, sage and leek. Tip: use up things in your fridge, even mushroom caps. Wrap them in a cheesecloth for easy removal later. Add the kombu to the pot if using.
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Skim any foam that forms. Occasionally give the beans a gentle stir. During cooking, if the water reduces too low, add hot water.
After 1 hour, start testing the beans. Tip: test 4 – 5 beans since not all beans cook at the same rate. If they are not done, retest in 5 minutes. The beans are ready when all the beans you test are soft but not mushy.
Remove from the heat and let the beans cool naturally in the water. To help speed cooling, add a cup of ice.
While the beans are cooling, mix together the ingredients for the marinade, seasoning to taste with salt. When cool, drain the beans and toss in the marinade. Cover and allow them to marinate in the fridge for several hours or up to 2 days.
Serving Temperature: Slightly chilled, room temperature, or slightly warm. You have a range of temperatures you can serve the marinated beans. I personally like them slightly warm, since they are softer. Slightly chilled, the beans will be firmer but some people like them this way.