Gigante beans with tomato & feta
Soak 1 cup cannellini, giant, or butter beans, soaked in cool water 8 hours or overnight
Cook beans, bay leaf, and 2 large garlic cloves in a large saucepan and cover with 4 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium to maintain a simmer, cover the pot partially, and simmer the beans until nearly tender; this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on the size and dryness of the beans.
Add 1 teaspoon sea salt and continue cooking until the beans are very tender but still holding a shape. Let cool in their liquid until needed. The beans can be stored, refrigerated airtight, for up to 1 week. When ready to use, drain well and remove the bay leaf.
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400F. Have a ceramic or glass baking vessel at the ready.
In a wide cast iron pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and saucy, 10 minutes.
Scrape the sauce into a glass baking pan and add the drained beans, tossing them to coat. Dot with the feta, pressing it into the sauce, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake the beans until bubbling and beginning to brown on top, 25-35 minutes.
While the beans bake, place the parsley, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, and salt in a blender or small food processor. Puree smooth. The parsley oil can be kept refrigerated airtight for up to several days.
When the beans are baked, drizzle with some of the parsley oil and serve.