Greek Sweet-and-Sour Baked Beans with Tomatoes, Peppers, and Mint

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

One of my favorite baked bean dishes, this is inspired by a Greek recipe, and even though it’s Mediterranean, for once in my bean-cooking life I’m not calling for garlic (add it if you wish). The sweet and sour flavors and the peppers and tomatoes should be prominent here. Like all baked bean dishes, the more time these beans have in the oven, the better the texture of the overall dish will be. The dish is prettiest when made with white beans. Serve with thick slices of country bread.

Make the Slow-Cooked Baked Beans template with the following additional ingredients and specifications:

2 red bell peppers, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, pulsed with the liquid from the can to a coarse puree (or 3 cups of Pomì strained tomatoes or grated fresh tomatoes)
3 tablespoons mild honey, such as clover or acacia
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar (or more to taste)
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
¼ cup chopped fresh mint

  1. Follow Step 1 of the template recipe, using white, pinto, or borlotti beans.
  2. In Step 2, after softening the onion (omit the garlic), add the bell peppers and a pinch of salt and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onion is soft and lightly colored.
  3. In Step 3, stir the onion/pepper mixture and remaining 2 tablespoons oil into the beans, along with the pureed tomatoes, honey, tomato paste, vinegar, paprika, and salt to taste. Make sure the beans are just submerged in liquid (add water if necessary). Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  4. Cover and bake as directed in Step 4, stirring every 20 minutes, until the beans are tender and the mixture is thick. Taste and adjust salt, add black pepper to taste, and stir in the mint. Cover, return to the oven, and bake another 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

ADVANCE PREPARATION: This is even better if you make it a day ahead. It will keep for 3 or 4 days. Reheat on top of the stove or in a 325°F oven.