Gigantes with pekmez and grape molasses
This is the first in a few recipes I'm going to put up featuring white beans. I love white beans because they're cheap, filling and of course very delicious. Grape molasses can be bought from Middle Eastern grocers. I use it to sweeten dishes instead of using sugar as it’s just grape must cooked down.
500g dried lima beans or butter beans, soaked overnight
1 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
6 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp grape molasses
2 oranges, zested
1 tsp salt
1/2 bunch of fresh thyme
salt, freshly ground black pepper and olive oil, to taste
Make sure you’ve soaked your beans overnight. This will help them to cook evenly. Cook them in a big pot covered with plenty of water, I salt the water well and also add some olive oil in with the cooking water as I find this helps with the texture. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer, they should take around 30-45 mins to cook all the way through. I cool my beans in the cooking liquid, I find this prevents them from drying out.
While the beans are cooking, start your base for the sauce. Sauté your onions until they are translucent, then add your garlic. Sauté your garlic for around a minute then take off the heat. Simply mix the onion and garlic through a tray of the drained beans - keep a bit of the cooking liquid on hand incase the beans starts to dry out too much in the cooking process. Then add your grape molasses, thyme and orange rind. Squeeze in the juice from the oranges too. Salt, pepper and olive oil to taste. Bake until you get nice crunchy, caramel bits on the tops of your beans.