JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Butter beans with lemon and maple syrup

I don't like butter beans. That is to say, I didn't until last night. Now I'm just off to the supermarket to buy some more. This is SO good. Easy, too, if not exactly quick (although it'll take up about two minutes of your time).

Braised butter beans

You need a handful of beans per person. Soak them in plenty of cold water. Recipes always say to soak them overnight, but you'll find if you've failed to think ahead (as I did) that they don't need that long. I put mine on to soak just before lunch, and began to cook them six hours later. As you can just about see from the photograph below, they were swollen enough to burst their skins, beautifully wrinkled.

Change the water, then cook them until they are soft (boil them hard for a few minutes, then simmer). How long this takes will depend on how old the beans are, and whether or not you are using a pressure cooker. Mine took about an hour in an ordinary pan, and I topped up the water twice.

When they are soft, turn up the heat and drive off most of the liquid. Add the zest and juice of a lemon, a slug of maple syrup, a little hot mustard powder (Colman's ... my box is several years old, but is still seriously hot). Mix well. Then stir in some chopped greenery - parsley or coriander for choice, but the only thing I had was rocket, and it was good.

Next time, I'm going to add sweet roasted garlic puree, but I keep forgetting to buy garlic, and it's a while since any came in the veg box.


aforkfulofspaghetti said...

How intriguing! I love butter beans anyway, so I'm certainly going to give this a whirl. Thanks for sharing.

Toffeeapple said...

I adore butter beans (actually, any beans!) and will certainly give this a whirl at the weekend.
Thank you Joanna.

Joanna said...

I hope you'll like it. I think it would work with treacle, too, or even some soft brown sugar.

Now that I know I like them, I'm thinking of other things to do with butter beans ;)