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Entries in beans (15)


tomato and coconut white bean cassoulet

i’m really loving dishes with rich tomato sauces at the moment – tunisian chicken and spicy chickpeas with ginger are two recent favourites. obviously, given it’s winter and fresh tomatoes are fairly flavourless, i’m relying on tinned tomatoes but that’s no now found good whole tomato and cherry tomato options.

this is another recipe from anna jones’ a modern way to eat and is one that i expect to make time and again, albeit in a tweaked format. the flavours are delicious and a nice mix of comforting and a little exotic - leeks, garlic, chilli and ginger are cooked until they sweeten, tomato and white beans are added with a little coconut milk and then baked topped with torn bread and cherry tomatoes. basil leaves should have also been tucked into the dish but i forgot this step and while i know it will be a great addition, the dish was fine without them - although it might have looked a bit less lurid with a few flashes of green!

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borlotti beans with anchovy and rosemary dressing

this borlotti dish is based on another recipe from my new favourite cookery book, a change of appetite. it was prompted by seeing fresh borlotti beans in the local turkish supermarket – i love these beans with their brightly coloured  pink and white marbled pods. i also love their nutty flavour and creamy texture.

the thing that really appealed to me about this recipe was the dressing – an anchovy and rosemary dressing made of finely chopped rosemary leaves, mashed up anchovies plus lemon juice and olive oil. i chose a really grassy extra virgin olive oil and it worked so well with the other flavours, creating  dressing that has oodles of flavour and really complements the beans.

the original recipe calls for kale but i’ve not seen any yet, so i just used spinach. i also used ate the dish in a  slightly different way to that described - having eaten one portion as shown, my next step was to lightly mash some of the beans and then use this as a topping for bruschetta. garlic-rubbed toasted ciabatta topped with borlotti beans and spiach ina rosemary and anchovy dressing – heaven on a plate with flavours that pack a punch.

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coconut-lime pork tacos with black beans


we often have chilli with corn  tortillas or as quesadillas and it’s certainly the kind of food that appeals in the hot weather – a little something with rich spicy flavours and lots of fresh uncooked ingredients to balance it all out. i say this but actually this is comfort food for me in the depths of winter too – there must be some kind of magic afoot!

this was very different approach to the requisite “something with rich spicy flavours” – it’s a food 52 recipe which combines, in a beguiling way, pork, coconut, and spice. i used pieces of pork tenderloin instead of mince which was, i think, a nice way to make it a little more special.

the coconut adds a lovely richness without being obviously coconut – i was a bit worried about having a thai chilli-style filling for my tortilla! the pineapple juice apparently acts as a marinade, tenderising the meat. i’m not sure how much of an impact it had and am unsure if i’d use it again as i rarely have need for tinned pineapple – a slug of milk or just using the optional (not so optional, in my opinion) lime juice would probably do something similar, i think. the end result is very delicious and this is something we’ll be making again, not least given it freezes well.

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the weather is only just beginning to turn in london but i’ve been making soups for a couple of weeks now.

an early bunch of cavolo nero and ribollita is what started me off. i’ve been using a sky gyngell recipe which calls for farro in place of stale bread as she prefers this version. the faro is what really appealed but when i was making the first batch i realised i didn’t have any so had to make do with broken up pieces of pasta.

having made a few batches, with both farro and pasta i’ve realised that it’s the pasta version that i like best (although i haven’t tried it with bread just yet – perhaps this weekend, given i have more cavolo nero in my fridge).

i’ve also been experimenting with stock and , if you’re not vegetarian i really recommend making this with chicken stock. it adds a wonderful extra layer of flavour and the silky texture is just unbeatable.

the final thing that you really must do is drizzle your soup with your favourite olive oil. i love planeta (c£12 a bottle so not prohibitive if you keep it for treats like this) and its fresh grassy flavour goes wonderfully with the ribollita.

i fancy trying other soups which have this same sort of feel. minestrone is an obvious one, but harira and chorba are also on my list – any t&t recipes would be very welcome!

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autumn pasta with borlotti beans, cavolo nero, girolles and crispy pancetta 

i’ve been a bit lackadaisical recently, when it came to food shopping and tracking down exciting seasonal foodie bits. this is very unlike me but has been due to trying to use stuff up (it took me months to work my way through the freezer but it is now done, has been defrosted and is again stuffed to the gills) and general busyness. however, this weekend i have got my act together and have lots of lovely exciting things in – fresh pasta and gnocchi, burrata, fresh borlotti beans, cavolo nero, various types of wild mushroom plus figs, amalfi lemons, wet walnuts and cobnuts.

last night’s supper was inspired by a description in a the donna hay magazine – for a quick winter pasta, toss sautéed garlic, wilted kale, borlotti beans, crispy proscuitto and pecorino through cooked fettucine. drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice to serve.

sounds delicious, non? i added some fresh girolles plus thyme to the mix, omitting the lemon juice and embracing the mild earthiness of the dish. fresh pasta too. it was delicious – a thoughtful combination of ingredients and a nice way to return to mindful cooking.

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