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GILL MELLER'S BRAISED BEANS WITH LEMON

A light, fresh recipe of beans braised with lemon, peas, lovage, mint and olive oil. These beans are wonderful on their own with good bread and a salad or with some grilled lamb or sardines.

READY IN

1 hour 10mins

COOKING TIME

1 hour

PREP TIME

10 mins

SERVES

4

ingredients

  • 200g of medium dried white beans, such as heirloom Catalan white hooked beans
IN STOCK
  • 200g of frozen peas (or fresh if you can get them just picked)
  • 1 large onion very finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves of garlic peeled and thinly sliced
  • The paired zest from 1 small lemon
  • A pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 3 - 4 sprigs of lemon thyme or ordinary thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1.5 ltrs of warm vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 small bunch of chives finely snipped or chopped
  • A handful of lovage leaves chopped (or parsley leaves)
  • A handful of fennel tops chopped (or dill)
  • 1 decent bunch of fresh mint leaves
  • 100ml of extra virgin olive oil
IN STOCK
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Before beginning the recipe, soak the beans for 12 hours or overnight.
  2. Set a large heavy based pan over a medium heat and add a couple of tablespoons of the olive oil. When it’s hot add the chopped onion, sliced garlic, lemon zest, the thyme sprigs and the bay and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the onions and garlic, gently in the oil, stirring regularly. Don’t let them catch on the base of the pan. If they begin to, you need to adjust the heat. When everything is soft and smelling sweet, add the drained soaked beans and stir well.
  4. Add enough warm stock to cover the beans and bring them up to a simmer. As the stock begins to reduce you need to add some more, it’s a bit like making a risotto, but only a bit. Keep adding the stock as the beans take it up. By the time you’ve added it all they should be tender. If not, add a bit more stock until they are done to your liking.
  5. Now add in the peas and give them a good stir. Let them cook in the remaining stock for 4 – 5 minutes then turn the heat down a little and let everything settle.
  6. Chop half the mint leaves and add them to the beans along with the chives, lovage or parsley and the fennel tops or dill. Stir in the olive oil and season everything really well with sea salt and black pepper.
  7. Serve with a scattering of whole small mint leaves, flaky sea salt and more olive oil for trickling.

ingredients

  • 200g of medium dried white beans, such as heirloom Catalan white hooked beans
IN STOCK
  • 200g of frozen peas (or fresh if you can get them just picked)
  • 1 large onion very finely chopped
  • 3 large cloves of garlic peeled and thinly sliced
  • The paired zest from 1 small lemon
  • A pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 3 - 4 sprigs of lemon thyme or ordinary thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1.5 ltrs of warm vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 small bunch of chives finely snipped or chopped
  • A handful of lovage leaves chopped (or parsley leaves)
  • A handful of fennel tops chopped (or dill)
  • 1 decent bunch of fresh mint leaves
  • 100ml of extra virgin olive oil
IN STOCK
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
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