Latest recipes

Butterbean and Mint Purée Recipe

Butterbean and Mint Purée Recipe

A creamy alternative to other bean dips like hummus and white bean dip from chef Michelle Weaver of Charleston Grill in Charleston, S.C. It can be served as an appetizer, when served with grilled flatbreads and crudités, or used to garnish a dinner party entrée like grilled lamb.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups butter beans or baby limas, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese

Directions

Place butter beans, garlic, zest, juice and olive oil in a food processor. Purée until smooth but slightly chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in mint. Top with crumbled goat cheese and serve with warm flatbreads and crudités.


Butter Bean Hummus

I like this butter bean hummus more than traditional hummus made with garbanzo beans. It has a light fresh taste – it is a taste that reminds me of summer (even when it isn’t). Plus – it takes only one minute to prepare – just add the ingredients to the food processor and blend!

When I was in Helsinki in September, I filmed a video for Finnair. Finnair brought three foodies from across the world together to talk about how we explore new places. The theme of the video was to bring foodies from the East and West together with a Finnish local. I was paired up with Wun Ling Li from Hong Kong and Pipsa Hurmerinta, who hosted Top Chef Finland. We met up in an allotment garden and discuss travel and Finnish culinary trends.

One of Pipsa’s favorite Helsinki restaurants, Maannos, made a delicious bean hummus for us to snack on, and today I am sharing my own version! I remember the hummus in Helsinki tasting so fresh and I knew that I wanted to recreate it when I returned home.

The food scene in Finland is booming, there are so many fantastic restaurants and so many new restaurants have opened since my first visit to Helsinki in May 2016. Modern Finish cuisine emphasizes the use of fresh vegetables, in uncomplicated yet sophisticated ways. There is an intention behind every ingredient, and you can taste them in the final dish.

Inspired by the bean hummus from Maannos, I made this super simple butter bean hummus seasoned with lemon, garlic, and a touch of greek yogurt. By using greek yogurt instead of tahini, the hummus has a lighter fresher taste and a tiny bit of tanginess.

I love the idea of making hummus without tahini, because you probably have all of the ingredients you need in your fridge and pantry already.

Making this butter bean hummus is as simple as putting all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and turning it on. It’s so easy!


Method

For the butterbeans, drain and rinse the pre-soaked beans and place in a deep saucepan, cover with fresh cold water then add the garlic and thyme and bring to a gentle simmer.

Cook gently for approximately 40 minutes, skimming off any scum that rises to the top of the pan, until the beans are just tender, then drain and set aside. Alternatively use canned cooked butter beans that have been drained and rinsed well.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add a splash of oil and sauté the diced red onion, chilli, ginger and garlic for one minute. Add the pre-cooked butterbeans (or tinned butterbeans) and lemon zest and cook for a further minute.

Add the chicken stock, increase the heat and simmer for a minute, then remove from the heat.

Add the mint, crème fraîche and half of the chopped dill. Mix well and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For the fish, prepare the plaice fillets. Using a sharp flexible knife trim the plaice of any skin and outer skirt pieces so you have three neat equally sized pieces of plaice per person.

Season the fillets with salt and black pepper.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add a splash of oil then lay the fillets in the pan, presentation side down (which is the flesh side) and cook for two minutes.

Using a fish slice, turn the fillets over and cook for a further minute.

Turn off the heat, squeeze over a little lemon juice, then remove and drain onto kitchen paper.

To serve, arrange the butter beans and sauce in warm serving bowls and lay over the seared plaice. Scatter over the remaining dill and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


    • Kosher salt
    • 6 cups fresh shelled butter beans or frozen baby lima beans
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • Juice of 2 large limes
    • 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves, chopped
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest, for garnish
    1. In a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add butter beans and cook until tender, 9-12 minutes, depending on the size of the beans. Drain in a colander shake colander several times to shed as much water as possible.
    2. Put butter in a large serving bowl, and pour warm butter beans on top. Toss beans with butter until all the butter is melted. Add lime juice and toss again to distribute. Fold in mint, season with salt and pepper, and scatter lime zest over the top. Serve immediately.

    Reprinted with permission from The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen by Matt Lee & Ted Lee, © 2013 Clarkson Potter

    Matt Lee and Ted Lee, founders of The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue, a mail-order source for Southern pantry staples, grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. They are the authors of The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook, which won the James Beard Award for Cookbook of the Year in 2007, and The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern, which won the IACP Award for Best American Cookbook in 2011. They are contributing editors for Travel + Leisure and contributors on Cooking Channel's Unique Eats.


    Courgette, mint and butter bean stew with goat’s curd

    The texture of the beans is everything in this recipe, so make sure you soak them overnight.

    Prep 30 min
    Soak Overnight
    Cook 1 hr 15 min
    Serves 4-6

    200g dried butter beans, soaked in water overnight
    8 garlic cloves
    1-2 fresh bay leaves
    Salt and pepper
    100ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2-3 tbsp extra
    6 courgettes, sliced into 15-20mm chunks
    100ml vermouth or white wine
    2-3 strips lemon rind, plus 1-2 tbsp juice
    1 small handful thyme leaves, chopped
    2 big handful mint leaves, roughly chopped, plus a few small leaves to serve
    4-6 slices toast
    200g goat’s curd, to serve

    Drain the beans, put in a large pan and cover with plenty of fresh cold water.

    Smash the garlic cloves once with the flat of a knife, to peel easily, and add four cloves to the beans along with the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and simmer gently for 45-55 minutes, until the beans are tender but still holding their shape, skimming the surface of any froth. (If the beans boil vigorously, their skins tend to break and they lose shape.) Take off the heat and add enough salt to make the cooking liquid taste good. Leave the beans to cool in the liquid.

    Slice three of the remaining garlic cloves. Warm the oil in a wide, deep pan over a medium-high heat and, once hot, add the sliced garlic and courgettes. Fry for five to seven minutes, until the courgettes begin to turn golden. Turn the heat down to medium-low, season with a little salt and cook for a further 10 minutes, until tender.

    Drain the beans, discarding the bay and garlic, and stir into the courgettes with the wine, lemon rind, thyme and a few tablespoons of water. Cook for five minutes, to allow the flavours to bond, then taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Take off the heat and stir in the mint.

    Rub the hot toast with the last garlic clove and drizzle with a little olive oil. Put in shallow bowls and spoon over the stew. Top with a large dessertspoon of goat’s curd and scatter generously with more mint leaves and an extra drizzle of olive oil to serve.


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    A comforting, hearty meal for two with herby sausages and butter bean mash. Just a few ingredients make up this midweek meal that takes just 10 minutes prep

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    What you need to make your Butter Bean Hummus

    Ingredients

    Tahini is pretty easy to find in supermarkets these days - if you haven't used it before, it is a paste made from sesame seeds, and a staple of Middle Eastern dishes. It gives a creamy, nutty flavour to hummus.

    Lemon juice is a very important flavour in hummus but easy to over-do. I've recommended adding the juice of half the lemon first, then you can taste and adjust right at the end if you feel it needs a little more.

    Garlic can also be a little overpowering, but I find two medium cloves in this quantity of hummus is about right. I recommend crushing it in a garlic crusher or pestle and mortar before adding to the food processor, as you really don't want big lumps lurking in the finished dip.

    Butter beans are the star of the show - creamy and nutritious, they are packed with protein, fibre, iron and vitamins to the point of being considered a 'superfood'. They don't have a strong flavour of their own, which works well here as they show off all the other punchy flavours above.

    Equipment

    I used my super-duper Magimix Food processor* but any good quality blender will do. Do keep it running for a good minute or two to break down the skins of the butterbeans - you are aiming for a really smooth hummus, with a soft consistency.

    *This is an affiliate link, I will earn a small commission from Amazon if you order via this link. Thanks for your support of The Veg Space.


    Spanish Pork Casserole with Chorizo & Butter Beans

    A true one-pot wonder, this simple Spanish inspired casserole is big on flavour and refreshingly light on effort. Other than the initial stages of browning the ingredients, this dish pretty much takes care of itself and rewards with a tasty family friendly meal that can be adapted to cater to almost all tastes and preferences.

    Now I have to be honest, this wonderful casserole is probably as Spanish as chow mien is Chinese or California rolls are Japanese, but these days cultural authenticity is hardly an impediment to being the poster child of world cuisine. The modern maxim seems to be, “If a dish tastes good, who cares?” and rightfully so. After all, when the results are this tasty, I’m all about the muddled.

    So whilst only vaguely Spanish, this simple dish is nevertheless brimming with classic Iberian flavours and, for a change, all the ingredients are perennial pantry staples. Admittedly I take it for granted that my larder resembles an over-stocked cornucopia of random ingredients, but this isn’t the sort of dish that calls for long forgotten packets of shrimp paste, bamboo leaves and jellyfish (yes, I do actually have the latter lurking in the depths of my fridge!). I digress, however.

    Thankfully, significantly less exotic pantry staples are required for this dish, namely tins of butter-beans, chopped tomatoes, chorizo and smoked paprika. Admittedly smoked paprika isn’t necessarily a staple pantry item, but is readily available at most supermarkets or it can be substituted with regular paprika and a pinch of chilli powder or flakes. You can also use chickpeas instead of the butter beans and the fennel seeds can be omitted if you don’t have any…like I said, this recipe is nothing if not adaptable.

    Note: As with most stews and casseroles, this dish will be all the better from a night chilling in the fridge.

    Spanish Pork Casserole with Chorizo & Butter Beans: Serves 4

    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 800g boneless pork shoulder or skinless pork belly, cut into chunks
    • 100g cooking chorizo, sliced into thin rounds
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 1 peeled carrot, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, lightly crushed
    • 2 tsp. hot smoked paprika (or plain paprika plus a small pinch of dried chilli flakes)
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 tsp. sugar
    • 1 tbsp. tomato purée
    • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
    • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
    • 400g tin butter beans, drained and rinsed
    • Flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped
    1. Heat the oil in a casserole dish over a medium/high heat
    2. Season the meat with salt and pepper and then, in batches, brown the pork on all sides – it is important not to overcrowd the pan. Once all the meat is browned, set to one side
    3. Add the sliced chorizo and fry for a couple of minutes, allowing the sausage time to release some of its flavour and brown slightly
    4. Add the diced carrot and onions, sauté for 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the fennel seeds, smoked paprika (or alternative), garlic and bay leaves, sauté for a another couple of minutes
    5. Add the sugar and tomato purée, followed by the vinegar. Stir and allow everything to bubble for a moment or so
    6. Add the tomatoes, fill the empty tin with water and add that too
    7. Return pork to the pot and season with salt and pepper
    8. Bring to the boil and reduce to a steady simmer. Partially cover the pot with a lid and cook gently for about an hour and a half. Stir occasionally and top up with some water if it starts to dry out too much
    9. Add the butter beans, stir and continue simmering for another 15 to 20 minutes
    10. Taste for seasoning and garnish with finely chopped parsley just before serving

    Serve with…just about anything! I love this with some griddled bread and a light salad, but it can be eaten on its own, with mash, rice or even some sautéd kale.


    Preparation

    • Spread the beans out and pick through them, discarding any rocks, bits of debris, and shriveled beans. Rinse the beans under cold water to remove any dust or dirt. Put the beans in a large metal bowl with enough cool water to cover by about 3 inches. Soak at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours, adding more water if the level gets low. To see if the beans have soaked long enough, cut one in half. It should be the same color at its center as it is at the edge. Drain and rinse.
    • Put the beans in a 6-quart Dutch oven. Add 2 quarts cool water, or enough to cover the beans by about 3/4-inch. Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally and adding hot water if necessary to keep the beans submerged, until they begin to soften, about 30 minutes.
    • Reserve 2 cups of the bean cooking liquid and drain the beans in a colander set over a bowl. Wipe out the pot.
    • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
    • Heat the oil over medium-high heat in the wiped-out pot. Add the fennel, onion, lemon zest, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved bean cooking liquid, the tomatoes, and the beans. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and bake in the oven until the beans are almost tender but still a bit firm, about 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until the liquid is thickened and the beans are fully tender, about 15 minutes more. Discard the zest and bay leaves. Let the beans cool for about 20 minutes.
    • Stir 1/4 cup feta into the beans, transfer to a serving bowl, and top with the remaining 1/4 cup feta and the chopped fennel fronds. Serve warm.

    A long soak is the best way to ensure even cooking of the beans, but if you’re short on time, you can do a quick soak in lieu of the step above: Put the beans in a large pot with enough cool water to cover by about 3 inches. Bring to a boil boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 1 to 2 hours. Drain and rinse.


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