Entries in beans (17)


spicy freekeh and butter bean soup

as the colder weather arrives, this ottolenghi soup is a great choice, especially for lunch or a light supper. it has complex spicy flavours but is not too filling, which gives you every excuse you need to serve it with crusty bread slathered with butter or toasted bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil.

the recipe is quite flexible – you can use other beans (or  a mix); if you can’t find freekeh then barley/brown rice would work well or, if you need to get this on the table quickly, use small pasta shapes (farro pasta would give a nice nuttiness and texture). however, i disagree with the suggestion that the sour cream is optional - a creamy something (use creme fraiche or greek yoghurt instead if you prefer) contrast really nicely with the other flavours (however, if you do omit it, this is a great vegan soup).

Click to read more ...


summer stew with borlotti beans and courgette

i found fresh borlotti beans in the local turkish supermarket earlier this week and wanted to find a way to make the most of their deliciousness. given the hot weather frankfurt has been having in recent weeks (temperatures 35-40c haven’t been uncommon), it perhaps surprising hat i chose to make a stew but once we had a cooler day and given its vegan character it was light to eat it was a nice change  from salad.

the recipe is from amy chaplin’s at home in the whole food kitchen, a book i was sent to review and which i’m really enjoying. it’s vegetarian and mostly vegan and gluten-free, with a good introductory section about ingredients, stocking your kitchen (for this sort of cooking) and some basic recipes and guidance of preparing ingredients.  the rest of the book has a broad range of recipes that will take you from breakfast through to the evening, with snacks and treats along the (healthy) way. everything seems to be put together in a quiet thoughtful way, rather than being full of big brash flavours and combinations and i’ve found it really encouraging when it comes to using ingredients which you might be less than familiar with – cooking with coconut oil, trying tempah and considering making my own nut milks are all new to me.

having said that, there are aspects of the book which i know some people will dislike – for example, all the recipes tell you to use filtered water and at the relevant point, to compost items such as bay leaves which are being discarded from the finished dish; i read a wonderfully raging review about this aspect of the book.  

regardless of this, which i find easy to ignore, the recipes i have tried have been good and it’s easy enough to skip over some of the time-consuming techniques and use your own shortcuts. this stew was delicious – the broth was light and full of flavour and i really liked the intensity of the flavour of the roasted courgette; i wasn’t keen on the pistou as an accompaniment as i thought it overwhelmed the delicacy of the vegetable flavours.

Click to read more ...


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!

Click to read more ...


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.

Click to read more ...


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.

Click to read more ...