Once you taste Gigante beans you will wonder why they are not sold in every single supermarket. I never came across Gigante beans in a can but my friend from the US says she can find them at a local shop. That's awesome. If you are one of the lucky ones, you must absolutely try this Gigante bean salad. It's delicious, nutritious, full of protein and will keep your hunger at bay. It's actually incredibly filling.
Also, the beans taste creamier and they sort of similar in consistency to butter beans, just bigger. I could eat Gigante beans day in and day out and never get bored with them. In fact, I recently ordered a 15kg bag all the way from the UK. I'm pretty happy with my purchase.
Now, the tricky part is cooking the Gigante beans. To be honest, this was trial and error for me. I use a pressure cooker for all my dry beans and while I use the included manual as a guide, I noticed that it's not always accurate. For example, when making black beans, the timings are super different.
And that's fine because I'm also going to tell you the trick to figuring out how long you actually need to cook Gigante beans when just starting out. First of all, I never soak my dry beans. Partly because I forget to do it the night before.
How to cook Gigante beans
So cooking Gigantes beans without soaking will take a little longer in the pressure cooker. Second, I have an old school pressure cooker. I cook my Gigante beans for 1 hour and 45 minutes once the pressure accumulates in the pot.
So basically I add the Gigante beans with about 3 litres of water and some vegetable stock. I put the lid on and seal. I allow the water to start boiling and once I can hear that loud whistle, I reduce the heat to a simmering level and let it run for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
When the 1 hour and 45 minutes is up, you can allow the pressure cooker to have its own natural release or do a quick release. Either way, I recommend that you take one Gigante bean out and taste it. Is it cooked? It should sort of melt in the mouth and you should not meet any resistance whatsoever. If it's not cooked, put the lid back on, bring the pot back to pressure and cook the beans for another 15 minutes. Repeat the test.
While most small beans are easier to cook, Gigante beans are well...giant! So you do need to ensure the middle is fully cooked in order to enjoy that gorgeous buttery taste of the beans. It is trial and error as every instant cooker and hob is different.
For example, I need 1 hour and 45 minutes for my induction hob, but before I had an ordinary hob so I needed to cook my beans for 2 hours and 10 minutes.
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How to make Gigante Beans Salad
Once the Gigante beans are cooked and have that amazing buttery interior, drain them and add them to a large bowl. Add the chopped onion, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper as well as fresh oregano. Toss to mix the ingredients and serve in bowls, hot or cold, as you prefer. If you find the onion to be too pungent when raw, swap it for spring onion instead, as it's milder.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.