Fried haricot beans
  ½ kilo ‘giant’ haricot beans
1 teacupful flour
1 can beer
pinch of salt
For the sauce
5 soup-spoonfuls tomato paste
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 coffee-cupful olive oil
2 soup-spoonfuls vinegar
1 soup-spoonful sugar
Giant haricot beans (gigantes) are the favourite variety of beans. They can be cooked in lots of different ways, boiled for salad or baked in the oven. With the addition of some finely sliced sausage they make a tasty dish, if a little heavy on the stomach. It’s best to eat them at lunchtime. Her I give you a totally different recipe: fried gigantes with a piquant sauce.
Soak the bans overnight in plenty of cold water. The next morning boil them in lots of salted water, until soft but not mushy. Drain and leave to cool.
Prepare the batter by beating the flour with the beer and put in the refrigerator. When required, dip the beans one by one in the batter and then fry in hot olive oil.
To prepare the sauce, fry the onion lightly in one cupful of olive oil. Add the tomato paste, garlic, sugar and vinegar. Pour in a teacupful of water and simmer at low heat for 20 minutes. Top up the water if required. Leave the sauce to cool a little and mix in the blender until velvety.
Serve the fried beans on a plate with the bowl of sauce in the middle.
For a perfect marriage of earthy tastes at your table, serve a lively red wine from Amyntaio or Naousa, such as Naousa Tsantali or Naousaia Founti.
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