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Chef, Television Host, Restauranteur, Award-Winning Cookbook Author, and Greek Food Ambassador
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Beans in Tomato Sauce with Feta Cheese (Gigantes Plaki)

Chef, Television Host, Restauranteur, Award-Winning Cookbook Author, and Greek Food Ambassador

Turn on the TV everyday in Greece and you’ll likely find its favorite daughter and chef of the people: Argiro Barbarigou. The Greek celebrity chef designed a culinary empire sharing secrets from the Greek kitchen, starting on her native Paros at Papadakis. The upscale taverna lured mega-yachts and tourists for her farm-to-fabulous, sea-to-sensational creations served portside.

After studying French cuisine in London and Paris, Argiro moved her famed eatery to Athens, where she honed her craft and became Greece's top-rated television chef and highest-grossing cookbook author (two earned French Gourmand Awards). In 2015 Argiro opened Alfa Pie House—a bakery-cafe in Washington, DC featuring her famous Greek pies—to rave reviews (including President Obama).

Embracing her mantle as culinary ambassador finds Argiro globetrotting to promote Greece—most notably cooking for President Bill Clinton (Hellenic Initiative) and presenting at United States Congress. Her next cookbook Pure Greek is slated for release (2017) in America.

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Beans in Tomato Sauce with Feta Cheese (Gigantes Plaki)

Beans in Tomato Sauce with Feta Cheese (Gigantes Plaki)

This deliciously hearty vegetarian dish can be found on any Greek table throughout the year. Gigantes comes from the Greek word for "giants", hence giant beans! Northern Greece produces some of the world's most unique varieties of Gigantes, even black ones.

This recipe is courtesy of Argiro Barbarigou, Celebrity TV Chef, Restaurateur, Author.

4 Person(s)
Preparation time
Cooking time

Gourmet Gurus, Mains


Beans in Tomato Sauce with Feta Cheese

  • 500 g large dry white beans such as lima, cannelini, or flageolets (in Greek they are called Gigantes - giant beans)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 teacup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 800 g tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • a handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • a handful of dill, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teacup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 200 g feta cheese, cubed


  1. Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl with plenty of water and 1 tablespoon baking soda. By the next morning the beans will be swollen. Rinse well under running water and place them in a pan with cold water. Boil over medium heat for approx. 40 minutes, until they are soft but not mushy.
  2. While the beans are boiling, prepare the sauce: in a deep frying pan (with a lid) sauté the onions in half the olive oil for about 6-7 minutes until they become translucent. Add the chopped celery and sauté for a further 2-3 minutes, then add the carrot and garlic. Stir everything together for 1 minute. Add the tomato purée, rubbing it into the bottom of the pan to cook for 1-2 minutes to release its aromas. Finally, add the chopped tomatoes and ½ cup of water, adding salt & black pepper. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes; then stir in the parsley and dill.
  3. Empty the beans out into a small ovenproof dish and pour the sauce over them, drizzling with the remaining olive oil. Place in a pre-heated oven (180 °C) and bake for almost 1 hour until all the sauce has been absorbed by the beans, leaving just the olive oil at the bottom of the pan. (You may need to add a little bit of water as they are cooking; check now and again to make sure the beans have not stuck to the bottom of the dish.)
  4. Sprinkle the chopped feta cheese over the top for the last 10 minutes of baking.