This is my comfort dish-of-the-moment. Diving into a big pile of creamy garlicky flageolet beans, succulent mushrooms and tangy, herby sundried tomatoes after a busy day at work is somehow kind of restorative, especially if it’s on a school night and I can’t drown my woes with some wine! That said, I will add a tot of any leftover white wine – to the saucepan, that is! – whilst a bit of chilli adds a kick. I normally include sundried tomatoes, about 5-7 are fine, and I cut them up into thin strips over the saucepan first, using the oil to fry the vegetables. Otherwise, I just fry the onions in a teaspoon of coconut oil.
I like using those cute baby button chestnut mushrooms for this recipe, chiefly because it saves on the chopping. They reduce to the most delicious tender little globules and contrast with that velvety dryness courtesy of the beans and tahini paste. Try and use fresh thyme leaves for this – it makes a difference. You only need a few token sprigs and you can use the rest in a huge variety of dishes, roast vegetables, sauces, soups, risottos – to name but a few!
In an ideal world I prefer to use dried beans (soaking for hours/overnight and then boiling), but honestly – who is organised enough to never resort to a tin? So if you are using tinned flageolet beans, rinse them really well under the tap and shake any excess water off before chucking them into the pot.
In the UK, a standard 400g tin yields around 265g of actual beans once you’ve drained them. If you are using dried beans, substitute around 270g dry weight, in total, as the beans roughly double in mass when soaked and boiled – this may give a bit more than the amount suggested below, but shouldn’t cause any drama: this dish is all about simplicity and comfort!
Ingredients (serves about 4-6; main/side dish)
Oil for frying
2 large onions
Sundried tomatoes (optional)
3-4 cloves of garlic
Fresh thyme – a few sprigs
2 x 400g tins of flageolet beans
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon good quality vegetable stock (optional but recommended)
1 tbsp tahini paste
1 lemon – juiced
- Dice the onion and fry in a smear of oil – with the sundried tomatoes, if using – for a few minutes until translucent. Finely chop or crush the garlic and throw in. Cook until golden.
- Cut the mushrooms into chunks if necessary and add along with the thyme leaves.
- Add the apple cider vinegar and the rinsed and drained flageolet beans. Pour in 150 ml water – with the stock if using – and give everything a good stir before putting the lid on and simmering for 5 minutes. Add more water if it begins to stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the tahini, lemon juice, check for seasoning, and let the beans bubble for another 5 minutes with lid off.
I am sharing this recipe with My Legume Love Affair, created by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and now administrated by Lisa’s Kitchen – this month hosted by Allotment2Kitchen