Most of the time, we’re against supersizing anything. But in the case of this recipe, we’re going BIG, with Gigante beans. Greek for “giant” (no surprise there), Gigante beans are deliciously creamy and full of fiber, protein, and other nutrients. In this dish, they took on the flavors of Italy, with the addition of carrots, celery, onions, garlic, sage and parsley. Yes, this recipe takes a bit of planning (you have to soak the beans overnight) and time, but believe us, it’s well worth it. The final result is a side dish (or main, when served with a salad) everyone will appreciate for its uniqueness and fantastic taste.
Developed by Sara Quessenberry for Cleveland Clinic Wellness
Yield: 4 Servings
2 cups dried Gigante or large lima beans
3 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, cut into ¼-inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into ¼-inch pieces
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water by 5 inches. Refrigerate and soak overnight, or for at least 12 hours. Drain the liquid. Put the beans in a large pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Smash 1 garlic clove and add to the pot along with the bay leaf. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until very tender, 2 to 2½ hours. Be sure to check the water level as they cook, adding more water as necessary to keep them submerged. Once the beans are just tender, let the water cook down to the consistency of gravy (this liquid is very flavorful). Season with ¼ teaspoon of the salt.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until very tender, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium about halfway through the cooking so the vegetables don’t scorch. Finely, chop the remaining 2 garlic cloves and add to the skillet along with the sage. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes more. Add the beans and their liquid, parsley, and pepper and stir to combine. Serve hot.
Nutrition Info Per Serving: 232 calories, 11 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 8 g protein, 27 g carbohydrate, 8 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugar, 0 g added sugar, 0 mg cholesterol, 175 mg sodium