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Friday, March 29, 2013

El Garrofón (γίγαντες, the butter bean)

Phaseolus lunatus is a legume. It is grown for its seed, which is eaten as a vegetable. It is commonly known in English as the lima bean or butter bean.  In Spanish it's called garrofón.  This humble bean is a crucial ingredient in any paella valenciana. One of my favorite dishes when I lived in Greece many years ago was γίγαντες πλακί which is butter beans baked with a tomato sauce.  This simple meal could be found in every ταβέρνα in the country. There are two varieties that I know of for butter beans, those that grow climbing on poles or a free-standing bushy variety. I need to start gardening.

Just hearing her wonderful Greek in this video brought back a flood of memories and a desire to make this dish again.

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