A greek classic. Delicious butter beans are cooked in a tomato-ey casserole and served with fresh parsley. You can eat this as a main dish or as a side. Off the RADAR in terms of healthiness.
Butter beans are such a powerful workhorse in the vegetarian kitchen. I use them an awful lot in my cooking and find them to be so amazingly versatile.
But they do seem to be one of those curiosities that stumps a lot of people. I have had a number of people ask me over the years what to do with butter beans. Well, they make a great pate for one as they have a lovely floury texture when cooked. They are also good as a base for stews, or soups, and really lovely dips can be made from them if you put them in a food processor and add flavours of your choice. So you see, they can be used for many, many things.
I will be posting a number of butter bean recipes so keep your eyes peeled.
This recipe is another classic greek recipe. I first had this at a seafood restaurant in London many years ago. The restaurant was owned and run by a greek chef and he sneaked this bean dish onto the menu as a starter. Yum! I had this dish each and every time I went there.
You can make this dish with dried butter beans if you wish. Obviously you will need to soak them over night first and then you will need to cook this dish for a lot longer than my recipe takes. But feel free to do it. I don’t use dried butter beans as I usually make this dish when I don’t have a lot of time and also I have tried it with dried butter beans and really don’t notice any difference in terms of taste.
Serve this dish up as a main and serve it with middle eastern bread or with my pita fries.
- 2 x 400 g cans of cooked butter beans
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 celery stick, finely diced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 small leek, green part finely diced.
- 1 teaspoon garlic, diced
- 200 g chopped tomatoes or tinned tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, no stalks, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- salt, for seasoning
- pepper, for seasoning
- To a large pan add the olive oil, celery, carrot, leek, onion, garlic and thyme, and fry until the onions are translucent and soft but none of the vegetables are brown. This will take about 10 minutes on a low heat.
- Add the butter beans, tomatoes and bay leaves to the pan, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes. If you need to, add a splash of water to the pan to stop it drying out.
- Once the beans are soft, remove from the heat and stir in a dribble of olive oil and the basil and parsley.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Delicious with my pita fries or fresh crusty bread.