What was that? You want something satisfying, luxurious, super easy and vegan? Oh, good. We’ve got just the thing for you. Gigantes (or gigantes plaki) is a dish that we think you will come back to again and again. In this recipe, beans are prepared into a stew-like casserole, giving you a meal which is at once elegant, yet simple.
Maybe because gigantes are not the most common of beans, people often refer to them as giant lima beans. Despite the fact that they look similar, gigantes are creamier, meatier and hold their shape better than lima beans when cooked; they are not the same thing. When they aren’t mislabeled as lima beans, gigantes are sometimes colloquially referred to as elephant beans. In actual fact, they are white runner beans (which we think sounds much more appetizing than elephant beans…no offence to elephants). Even more officially, and officially Latin, they are classified as Phaseolus coccineus . We think these distinctions are important, particularly because gigantes are so special in Greek cooking. They are so special, in fact, that certain regions of Greece have varieties of gigantes which have been accredited as Protected Geographical Indication products. Take that, lima bean.