Dried butter bean, tomato and garlic casserole
Some of you expressed a wish to know how this is made. So, here goes. It is really easy, but has a couple of preparatory steps, which mean you have to plan for it. It’s a great source of nutrients like potassium, magnesium and iron, one of the most protein-packed legumes, a very slow-release carbohydrate, ideal for people controlling their blood sugar, vegan, gluten-free and very, very tasty. It can be eaten hot or cold. It is also cheap.
500g dried butter beans
(you can get them in most Turkish markets, large supermarkets and health food shops)
4 cl. garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups sieved tomato
1 cup hot water
dill or parsley
Soak the beans in water overnight. Then rinse them, put them in a pot with cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 20 minutes and drain.
In your multi or blender (or chopping everything finely) make a rough chunky paste of the tomato, onion, garlic and olive oil. Add the beans to a casserole dish with a lid, add the paste, the sieved tomato, water, chopped up dill or parsley (whichever you prefer, both work well and give a different slant to the dish), salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of sugar and stir to evenly distribute.
Pop in a preheated oven (between 180° and 200°C depending on your oven) and cook for 1 and 1/2 hour. Unless your casserole lid is tight-fitting or you seal it (see below), check halfway through and add a bit of hot water if it looks like it’s getting dry.
TIPS TO ELEVATE IT
1. Make a plain pastry from flour and water and seal the casserole lid around the edges, cook on a lower heat (150°C) for two and a half hours. Melts in the mouth.
2. Add a handful of sundried tomatoes and a small chilli to the blender when you make the paste. They really give the dish a zing.
3. Chop some good quality, gamey sausage into the casserole for a more carnivore-pleasing result.
4. Crumble some feta on top after serving. There are good vegan alternatives available.
Dried butter beans look like this. The recipe works equally well with dried lima beans or fagioli, but adjust cooking time for smaller varieties.