top of page


This month, we hosted a workshop celebrating tomato diversity. We did a taste test on the 8 varieties growing at Global Gardens, Poppy led a seed-saving demo and we cooked baked beans under the guidance of community chef Vaida @one_small_spoon. Here she shares her recipe...


500g pinto beans

1-5kg tomatoes

2 onions

1-2 tbsp paprika

5-6 garlic cloves

2-3 bay leaves

A few sprigs of thyme

Salt to taste

Vegetable stock


I started by soaking pinto beans a day ahead and then boiled them the next morning for about 50 minutes, or until soft. You can use any beans that you’ve got at home to make the ‘baked beans’. I also added a sprig of sage to boiling water which gave a gentle herby flavour to beans. Back in Global Gardens we harvested tomatoes of various sizes and colours, the softer the better. Now is a good time to use all the split tomatoes. You can use any tomatoes, the riper would work the best, as they have more flavour and sweetness. Chop bigger tomatoes into smaller bits, small tomatoes can be used whole. We used about 1.5 kg of tomatoes. Take 2 onions, dice them and fry them in oil until they are slightly caramelized. Add a generous amount of dried sweet paprika, 1-2 tbsp, stirr for a minute or two. It will give the baked beans sauce a lovely smokiness. Add 5-6 of minced garlic cloves, reduce the quantity if you’re using fewer tomatoes. Cook it for up to 30 seconds, until you just start smelling it, but without burning it. Now add the tomatoes. Add a couple of bay leaves, a few sprigs of thyme, and salt. Cover the pot and bring it to the boil. Once boiling, take the lid off, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste it. Depending on where in tomato season we are, you might need to add a veg stock cube, as tomatoes aren’t as flavoursome anymore. It might also need a bit more salt. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, taste again and adjust flavours. Add the precooked beans or canned beans if that’s what you’re using. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, keeping the lid off the whole time. You want the sauce to thicken. Enjoy it with bread, or as a side dish. Looking through other baked beans recipes online, I see that a lot of them add sugar, vinegar and sometimes Worcestershire sauce. The flavours turned out just perfect using the ingredients listed above. Just make sure tomatoes are really ripe, or add flavour by using a more natural brand of veg stock cube.

Thanks to Food Cardiff for supporting our Tomato Festival, part of the Good Food Cardiff Autumn Food Festival.


bottom of page