Lucy in the Larder

Fried butter beans with feta, sorrel and sumac

You knew it was coming… another Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from my flavor-of-the-month cookbook Plenty. Tonight it’s Fried butter beans with feta, sorrel and sumac for a quick pre-movies dinner with Minger and the Greek Goddess at my place. 

I’ve not made this recipe before – is it a bit odd that I’m just serving beans to my dinner guests…? 

This was so super easy and quick to make – even better, all cooked in one pan too.

Sorrel can be hard to track down (as I quickly found) enjoyed for its brilliant lemony tang. If you can’t get hold of any, use spinach instead and double the amount of lemon juice. If you can’t be bothered cooking the dried butter beans, use a couple of cans of the organic ones. The sumac adds colour and even more freshness to this dish – substitute with a small amount of smoked paprika, if need be. 

The skin on the butter beans blister a crunchy golden when you fry them, so delicious with the wilted bitey sorrel and creamy salty feta.

Perfectly enjoyed on its own or as a side dish – but as it’s early and we’re eating light tonight, I’ve just toasted some of Iggy’s sourdough to serve with it. It’s given a whole new meaning to beans-on-toast…

Fried butter beans with feta, sorrel and sumac 
Serves: 4; Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 10-40 minutes (depending on canned or dried beans) 

450g dried butter beans 
2 Tbsp bi-carb soda 
60g butter 
4 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish 
8 spring onions, cut lengthsways into strips 
1  clove garlic, crushed 
2 red chillies, finely chopped
200g sorrel, washed and cut into 2cm strips, plus extra, very thinly sliced, to finish 
1/2 tsp salt 
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice 
150g feta, broken into pieces 
2 tsp sumac 

 –       Put the butter beans in a large bowl and add twice their volume of cold water. Add the bicarb and leave to soak overnight. Next day, drain the beans, put them in a large pan, cover with plenty of fresh water and boil for at least 40 minutes. They could take more than an hour to cook, depending on size and freshness. When done, they should be soft to the bite but not disintegrate. Add water during cooking if necessary. Drain and set aside.

–       Next, lightly fry the beans – you may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan. Take some of the butter and oil, and heat well in a frying pan. Add enough beans to cover the base of the pan and fry over medium-high heat for a minute or two on each side. The beans should develop a nice golden-brown, blistery skin. Transfer to a large bowl, and repeat with another batch of butter, oil and beans. When you’re cooking the final batch, add the spring onions, garlic, chilli and sorrel once the beans are almost done, and sauté for a minute longer. Add to the bowl with the rest of the beans and season with salt. 

–       Allow the beans to cool down completely or until just warmish. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Lay the beans flat on a serving plate (or plates). Drizzle lemon juice on top, then broken feta, a sprinkling of sumac and some thinly sliced fresh sorrel. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

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This entry was published on February 2, 2012 at 9:47 am. It’s filed under Delicious and healthy!, Lucy's plate, Recipes, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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