Butter beans are the base of the recipe I’m about to share. There’s been a butter bean renaissance in my kitchen recently. I’ve rediscovered how tasty they are and how they bring creaminess and body to dishes. I try to remember to soak them at least once a week. I soak and cook them in big batches, so that I can use them in various recipes throughout the week.
Getting in the habit of soaking pulses, rather than buying tinned ones will save you money and reduce your waste. This recipe is quite adaptable, so you can use other greens, such as chard or wild garlic. It can be eaten as a side dish, nourishing breakfast or topped on a slice of bread.
1 cup of dried butter beans
1 bay leaf
Various herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, sage
1-2 garlic cloves
A good bunch of spinach
This recipe should be started a day before. Soak dried butter beans in plenty of water for 8 hours, best done an evening before.
The following day put the beans in a pot with plenty of water, and salt. Butter beans are great at soaking up flavours so I recommend adding a bay leaf and some herbs that withstand heat well such as rosemary, sage, or thyme. Bring it to the boil, and then turn down the heat and simmer till soft, but not mushy, so anything from 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Drain through a sieve. You can use all of the beans or just some of them. You can put the rest in a fridge and use in other dishes, such as soups, stews, purees, etc…
Chop the onion and garlic finely. Put some oil in a frying pan, and gently cook the onion. Once it’s nearly done, add some garlic. Be careful not to burn it.
Mix in beans, cook for 1-2 minutes and then add spinach. Cook the spinach until has wilted. Top with some lemon zest and a dash of lemon juice and olive oil. Enjoy!
Vaida is food coordinator at Global Gardens and a food blogger at onesmallspoon.com