Butter Beans are most similar to our 'gigantes' (giants). If any of you have access to an ethnic Greek grocery, go and get the real thing - you'll love them!
- 1 lb dried butter beans (soaked overnight) or 1 lb dried lima beans (soaked overnight)
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice (concasse)
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 -5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 large carrots, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 stalks celery & leaves, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1⁄2 lb bacon, chopped (or 6 oz. bacon and 6 oz good quality pork sausage, cut up) (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
- enough hot water, to cover beans by 1 inch
- Cook the pre-soaked beans in a pressure cooker, with enough water to cover by one inch, for 20 minutes and allow to sit, undisturbed, for 2-3 hours before proceeding with recipe.
- Tip the beans into a large baking pan.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the dill, and stir well to distribute.
- Pour over enough hot water to cover beans by 1".
- Place pan in oven and set oven to 400°F.
- Bake for 2 hours. Check, if you like your beans more tender, cook them a half hour longer.
- Stir dill in for last 15 minutes of baking.
- There will still be plenty of juices in the pan, but these will be absorbed by the beans and thicken as the beans cool.
- Like nearly all bean recipes, these only improve the next day, and the day after next.
- In Greece, these beans would constitute the main, 'vegetarian' meal and would not include the bacon, which is my own addition. We often eat meatless, especially when we're fasting. With or without the bacon or sausage, this is good eating, especially with a big chunk of sharp feta cheese on the side to nibble on between bites of beans and slurps of sauce and some good, honest, crusty bread to clean your plate up with. :-).
I made this with 1/2lb bacon. If serving as the main entree I would add the sausage too. The bacon only is great for a side dish. Was a nice change from sweet baked beans. To make it more edible for the kids I sliced the veggies smaller and added them the last hour.
I made this recipe for my July 4th crowd, and it was a huge hit! I added pork sausage instead of the bacon and omitted the celery since I don't eat it...other than that, made the recipe exactly as written. Thanks for a great recipe!
We tasted these beans while visiting Greece recently and thought the creamy rich flavor was so good that we found a specialty store at home and made them last night. I followed this recipe but added some left over Rabbit Stifado (that we also had and loved in Greece and made the night before). It had a similar base and just added some more broth and meat to the dish. Now, we love beans but my husband declared that this was his favorite bean and bean dish ever. He's a master gardener and he's going to grow these beauties next season. They are actually not a bean but a flower and there are many types. The plants can grow very large and be not only a productive food plant but also add beauty to the landscape. I digress. These beans are wonderful but take care to make sure you allow enough time to soak overnight and follow the cooking instructions so they become soft and tender. They take a long time to cook but create a wonderful aroma in the home and are worth the wait.