Preparation time: 20 min.
Fassolia Gigantes are a staple in Greek cuisine. This butter bean variety, protected under EU law, is grown exclusively in the Kato Nevrokopi region in Drama Province northeast of Thessaloniki.
We use regular butter beans in this recipe, which are from the same family but a bit smaller and easier to obtain outside of Greece.
- 4 tomatoes, halved, seeded and cut into 3/8 inch (1 cm) slices
- 1 lb (450 g) canned or frozen beans
- 4 Tbsp black olives in oil
- 1 small onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced thinly
- 1 cup (225 g) feta cheese, cut into 1 inch (about 2 cm) squares
- 1/2 cup (115 g) chopped fresh coriander or Italian (flat-leaved) parsley
- 1/2 – 1 cup (120 – 240 ml extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and freshly ground pepper
If you use canned beans drain them in a colander and rinse them briefly under cold water. Using frozen beans follow package direction and let them cool.
Place beans in a bowl. Add sliced onion, olives, chopped coriander or parsley. Mix olive oil and lemon juice and taste for salt and pepper. Add feta cheese and tomatoes at last. Mix it well and adjust taste again.
If you are preparing this salad hours’ in advance or the day before, add the tomatoes only before serving. They get soggy if added too early. You might have to add more olive oil and lemon juice as beans absorb a lot of liquid. Beans should not clump together.