Look for gigantes, beans as big as your thumb, in Greek groceries; they don't fall apart during cooking. Substitute large lima beans if you can't find gigantes.
- 1 pound dried gigantes beans or large dried lima beans (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup extravirgin olive oil
- 3 cups chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup finely chopped carrot
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried dill
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cooking spray
Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight. Drain beans. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender. Drain beans. Preheat oven to 325°.
While beans cook, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in oregano and tomatoes; simmer 10 minutes. Stir in parsley, dill, honey, salt, and pepper. Combine the cooked beans and tomato mixture in a 3-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 1 hour.