Make Ahead

Gigante Beans a la Zaytinya

March 17, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Serves 8 as a side dish
Author Notes

I love the Piyaz at Zaytinya in DC. I get this particular dish everytime I am there. After finally finding nice looking dried gigante beans locally (you can order them from Kalustyan's and probably other sources as well) I've been trying to come up with my version. Gigante beans are both meaty and creamy and can stand up to the flavors of this sauce. —healthierkitchen

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound dried gigante beans
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil for cooking
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 large ribs of kale, center rib cut away and cut into chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey (you can leave this out if you want it to be vegan)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • juice of 1 -2 lemons
  • sea salt to taste
  • 10 - 12 halves slow roasted cherry tomatoes
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons best quality olive oil
  1. Place beans in a pot covered by about 2 inches of water and soak overnight.
  2. Next day, drain the beans and cover with water by about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer for about 2 hours or until beans are tender. Drain the beans, reserving about a cup of the cooking liquid. You can also make the beans ahead and refrigerate them in their cooking liquid for a day or two.
  3. Heat a dutch oven or large pot over medium to medium low heat and add 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add in the onions and let soften slightly, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic and then the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, for for about five minutes, until the kale softens. Add the dill, honey, Aleppo pepper, juice of one lemon, and about half of the bean cooking liquid. Mix and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Add the beans. Add more of the bean cooking liquid if the mixture seems dry. Mix gently but well.
  5. If the flavor isn't lemony enough, add more lemon juice. The flavor should be nicely lemony but not overpowering.
  6. Add salt to taste.
  7. Add in the slow roasted tomatoes and then top with a drizzle of the better quality olive oil.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • arielleclementine
  • EmilyC
  • dymnyno
  • Midge
  • QueenSashy

21 Reviews

arielleclementine August 4, 2015
I've never cooked with gigante beans and must remedy that! This sounds so perfect.
healthierkitchen August 5, 2015
I Love them! The texture is sort of meaty and rich.
LizCo77 January 27, 2014
I love Zaytinya! I live in California, but I have had this dish at this restaurant on a work trip to DC, and I remember loving it. Anyway, I made this tonight as written, and it was delicious! Thank you so much for posting it.
healthierkitchen April 29, 2014
Thanks LizzyD77! So glad you liked this. It's still one of my favorite DC restaurants!
EmilyC October 10, 2013
Wendy: So glad to have this recipe as I'm addicted to the marinated gigante beans that are sold at the olive bars in Whole Foods. I'm sure these are 10x better. Like Midge, gigante beans are now on my list!
healthierkitchen October 22, 2013
Emily - I hope you try them! The beans themselves can be so delicious, I sneak many out of the pot to "test"if they're done! the recipe is very forgiving. They'd even be great with just salt and oilve oil!
dymnyno October 7, 2013
I love gigante beans and will definitely try this recipe!!!!
healthierkitchen October 22, 2013
Hope you like it!
Midge October 4, 2013
This sounds so delicious. Gigante beans are on my list!
healthierkitchen October 4, 2013
It took me a while to find them, but I persisted as I love them! Hope you like it if you try!
QueenSashy October 2, 2013
I was so hoping you will submit this to the contest, it is such a wonderful dish and a truly impressive dinner party side!
healthierkitchen October 2, 2013
What a kind comment, thanks!! so glad you liked it!
em-i-lis October 2, 2013
This sounds wonderful, Wendy. I will definitely be making this soon!!
healthierkitchen October 2, 2013
Thanks Emily! Hope you like - I get my beans at Asadur's in Rockville, but that might not be geographically desirable for you!
QueenSashy October 18, 2012
This looks like something I must must try!
healthierkitchen November 26, 2012
Try! Just use really fresh beans if you can find them. It is much better if the beans get creamy!
checker March 29, 2011
I just noticed this. How perfect - this is something I always order too. (I live in DC.) Great job recreating this dish! I have many a Jose Andres dish that I try to recreate as well. The Salt Air Margarita at Oyamel is maybe the only time that "air" in a dish really works without being so over-the-top. Washingtonian had the method for making it, and now I love to add it to my own margarita on a hot summer night. Thanks for sharing this! I'll be making this.
healthierkitchen March 29, 2011
Great to hear of another gigante bean lover!! If you make it, I'd love to know if you have any further ideas! I've played around with chicken stock, but ruled that out. One server told me they use honey so I added a little, but I'm not sure. I don't know if you ever get out to Rockville, but Asadur's market carries the beans as well as other Greek and Turkish items.
healthierkitchen March 29, 2011
Also, checker, are you already on the DC area food52 email list? If not, let me know. It looks like mrswheelbarrow has already put the wheels in motion for one of the rhubarb canning parties. Check out the blog post and scroll down almost to the bottom.
healthierkitchen March 17, 2011
Thanks student epicure. I'm not sure I've done Jose Andres justice, but I keep trying! I love the texture (and taste) of this kind of bean.
student E. March 17, 2011
YUM! This looks wonderful.