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Making those vinegary marinated big white beans you see in deli or olive bar

nasv Aug 22, 2012 09:40 AM

At an olive bar and at an Italian deli I've seen these big white beans (not sure if they're cannellini's or other variety) that are in an oily and acidic (vinegary) marinade with what looks like roasted sweet peppers and other herbs and aromatics. I think they are always served cold.

I don't know what this is called, and I'm not quite sure how to reproduce this at home. My son LOVES these and I'd like to figure out how to reproduce these at home instead of buying them.

Thanks in advance!
-Nico

  1. n
    NicoletteT Mar 24, 2014 01:29 PM

    Could they be butter beans? I use them in a cold salad with parsley, oil and vinegar/lemon, salt, pepper, and sometimes some tomato or red bell pepper.

    1. n
      noeldottir Aug 27, 2012 01:47 PM

      Yes, those are gigantes, or gigandes. Once you find a source (try online? I get mine from a local italian/greek deli and they're about $6/12 oz bag. Ouch.), soak overnight, bring to a boil in lots of water on top of stove, skim, add a bay leaf and whatever else you want, then BAKE @ 350, don't simmer stovetop. It's much more gentle, beans don't break up. I salt the water about halfway through, and check occasionally to be sure the beans are still covered in water. If not, top up (they absorb a lot of water). When they're done, let cool to lukewarm in the liquid, which also helps prevent them from breaking, drain, add to a vinaigrette flavored however you want (garlic and herbs for me, good vinegar and oil), along w. the roasted peppers you like. I like to add chopped pickled peppers, as in pickled cherry peppers or peppadews. Let cool completely, taste again for seasoning, eat happily. Hope this helps.

      3 Replies
      1. re: noeldottir
        m
        magiesmom Aug 27, 2012 06:34 PM

        $4.95/lb here.less in larger amounts
        http://www.purcellmountainfarms.com/G...

        1. re: magiesmom
          n
          noeldottir Sep 1, 2012 05:34 PM

          Just saw this. Thanks very much!

        2. re: noeldottir
          b
          bujums Mar 24, 2014 01:12 PM

          I will try this except it seems like I taste a little lemon juice when I eat these so I am going to add that. Glad to hear they can be made from the dried beans as I plan on Growing them this year.

        3. mbfant Aug 27, 2012 09:41 AM

          They are called fagioli di Spagna in Italian and are pretty much the same as gigantes. Also called white Spanish beans in English. As for making the salad, you're on your own, but I agree, it's a great dish.

          1. w
            Whippet Aug 22, 2012 08:21 PM

            I know the salad you mean, and it's good. I've never made it from a recipe, but this looks close:
            http://www.vegetarian-kitchen.com/mar...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Whippet
              nasv Aug 27, 2012 08:32 AM

              YES!

            2. r
              robt5265 Aug 22, 2012 08:18 PM

              I think what you are referring to are actually Fava Beans. You are starting to see them more and more in the U.S. in the produce dept.

              1 Reply
              1. re: robt5265
                nasv Aug 27, 2012 08:31 AM

                No, not favas, I'm familiar with fresh and dried favas. The ones I'm thinking more closely resemble cannellini beans or bigger. I think they could be the "gigantes" mentioned earlier.

              2. pinehurst Aug 22, 2012 03:18 PM

                Are you thinking of lupini?

                If so, a good prep/primer is here.

                http://blogs.poughkeepsiejournal.com/...

                4 Replies
                1. re: pinehurst
                  nasv Aug 22, 2012 03:50 PM

                  Nah, those aren't it... they look more like giant cannellini beans that have been dressed/marinated with some herbs and bits of sweet pepper.

                  1. re: nasv
                    pinehurst Aug 22, 2012 04:53 PM

                    Lima beans, as in the below?
                    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/24/hea...

                    1. re: pinehurst
                      nasv Aug 27, 2012 08:31 AM

                      Hmmm... the lima beans I'm familiar with (Christmas lima's) are dark colored, purple-ish, but this actually seems to resemble it pretty closely, thank you!

                      1. re: nasv
                        greygarious Mar 24, 2014 01:47 PM

                        No,. Christmas lima beans are actually not a common variety in markets. "Lima" translates as "bean", which is why we use lima bean as the name for several varieties.
                        What you want is NOT the pale green, fairly flat bean sold frozen, canned, and as part of succotash. Look instead at what is sold in cans as "butter beans". They are larger, buttery in color, and milder in flavor than the smaller, green lima. If buying the dry version of butter beans, you want "large dry lima beans". Most supermarkets sell them alongside the bagged lentils and split peas. There's also a small dry lima bean, which is the same off-white color, and similar in flavor to the large so I don't think it's the dried version of the green lima. The butter/dried large lima bean tastes the same as the gigantes, to me, but is a lot cheaper and easier to find. You need to soak the dried beans and cook gently if you want to avoid the skins coming off entirely. Some people like to remove them, however. When trying to duplicate the deli item, I'd use the canned version so I didn't have to fuss over the texture. Once I had the other ingredients worked out, I'd go back and figure out how to combine them with limas I cooked at home.

                2. r
                  rasputina Aug 22, 2012 01:12 PM

                  You think you are referring to gigantes?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rasputina
                    nasv Aug 22, 2012 01:13 PM

                    I have seen "gigantes" that look like the big white beans, but I've only seen them jarred at Trader Joe's in some sort of red-sauce. So perhaps the same bean, but much different preparation.

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