This is a nutritious and wonderfully satisfying vegetarian dish. The name ‘yiyantes’ comes from the Greek word for giant (‘giant beans’). Yiyantes can be cooked a couple of different ways, and in this recipe Eva shows us how to prepare these giant beans in tomato juice baked in the oven (plaki-style).
3 cups of large lima beans (yiyantes)
½ cup of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 pieces of garlic, finely diced
1 cup of chopped carrots
1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley
2 cups of crushed tomatoes, or tomato juice
Salt and pepper
Place 3 cups of washed lima beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Allow the beans to soak in the water overnight. Drain the water and pour the beans into a large pot of boiling water and blanche them for about 5 minutes.
In a large pan, add the olive oil and sauté the onions. Add the garlic, carrots, salt and pepper.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
After about 5 minutes of boiling the beans, remove them from the heat and drain the water. Place the beans in a large pan. Add the tomato sauce to the beans. Add 4 cups of water and mix well to ensure the tomato sauce is evenly spread.
Allow the beans to cook in the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees.
Cabbage Sambharo is a Gujarati side dish similar in look and feel to coleslaw or salad. There are two aspects to this dish which make it quite unique:
In order to stop the salad from becoming soggy, all excess water is removed by adding salt to the mixture and letting it sit for a while.
The “dressing” is far from the traditional combination of vinegar/lemon juice/olive oil. Instead, it is a combination of ingredients such as mustard seeds, sesame seeds and turmeric lightly toasted in oil on the stove top.
¼ of a small cabbage, shredded
¼ red pepper, julienned
¼ yellow pepper, julienned
¼ orange pepper, julienned
¼ green pepper, julienned
1 small carrot, shredded
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp white sesame seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 green chili finely chopped (or to taste)
1 tsp oil
Handful of pomegranate
Handful of cilantro (Italian parsley)
Pinch of sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
Combined shredded cabbage, julienned peppers and shredded carrot in a bowl.
Add the salt and mix it into the salad thoroughly – Let this sit for about 15 minutes.
Squeeze excess water from the salad. You can do this with your hands. Just take a handful and squeeze, until no more water comes out. Repeat this until you have gotten through all the salad. Place the dehydrated salad in another bowl.
Warm oil in a pot. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to sizzle until you hear them popping.
Add the sesame seeds and allow them to turn golden brown.
Add the turmeric and green chili.
Pour the entire contents of the pot into the bowl of salad which you set aside in step 3.
Add the lemon juice and sugar.
Mix so that the dressing, lemon juice and sugar is evenly distributed.
Pastitsio is a layered pasta casserole, also known as “Macaronia tou Fournou” (pasta cooked in the oven). It is a very popular dish throughout Greece and is the perfect dish to make for a large family gathering or party, as it yields a large number of pieces. Pastitsio consists of layers of pasta, a layer of ground beef, and a thick béchamel sauce. Traditionally, a dash of ground cinnamon is added to the ground beef, but in this recipe Irene has chosen to omit the cinnamon. Feel free to add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the ground beef if you like.
For the pasta
2 packages of ‘Pastitsio’ pasta, #4
2 egg whites
About ½ a cup of Parmesan cheese
For the ground beef
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 bulbs of minced garlic
1 small chopped onion
2 pounds of lean ground beef
1 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoons of ground pepper
1 teaspoons of oregano
300 ml of tomato sauce or 2 cups of chopped tomatoes
For the béchamel
5 cups of milk, warmed to room temperature
½ pound of butter
½ cup of all-purpose flour
A dash of salt and pepper
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon of paprika
Cook the pasta for about 8-9 minutes in a large pot of salted water.
In another large pot, heat the oil over low heat. Over low-medium heat, sauté the garlic and onion for about 1-2 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until the meat has browned. Add the salt, spices and tomato sauce, and continue to stir the meat until it is cooked. Set aside.
Drain the pasta. Once the pasta is back in your pot add 2 egg whites and stir the pasta. Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to the pasta.
Brush the bottom of a large pan with olive oil. Place half of your pasta in the large pan. Make sure it is spread out evenly. Add another sprinkle of parmesan cheese to the pasta.
Spread your ground beef sauce over the pasta. Add another layer of pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
To prepare the béchamel, melt the butter in a large pot at low heat. Once the butter is melted, slowly add in the flour while continually stirring. Slowly add in the milk and continue to stir the sauce until it is smooth. Add salt and pepper. Once all lumps have been smoothed out, remove the sauce from the heat and add in 2 egg yolks. Stir well.
Add the béchamel sauce over the pasta. Be sure to spread the sauce out evenly. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Add a sprinkle of paprika if you like.
Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Let the pastitsio stand for 10 minutes to cool before you cut into squares.