Sunday, 22 April 2012

Smoky Butter Bean Couscous Salad

I admit this is not the most appealing looking recipe you'll see on my blog.  In fact, even my nephews and nieces snugged at its lack of spices, but they ate some out of sheer politeness.  The original recipe comes from Tessa Kiros Baked Butter Beans with Tomatoes.  I have to admit, even for my educated palette it was too bland. 

To perk it up, I decided to sprinkle some smoked paprika to it and towards the end, stir some couscous to it to make more of a meal of it.  It made a world of difference uplifting the flavours and the smell.  It was even good the following day as a light lunch topped with some crumbled feta cheese.
Some of you may be wondering what am I doing with fresh tomatoes in April. I managed to find some grown in the U.K, greenhouses undoubtedly.  
Smoky Butter Bean Couscous Salad
Serves 4 - 6
Ingredients
250g dried butter beans soaked overnight
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium red onions finely sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
600g fresh ripe tomatoes, chopped

350ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons parsley, minced

1-2 teaspoon of smoked paprika or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Cooked couscous or Bulgar wheat, enough for 4 - 6 people
Optional: feta cheese for topping
Method

Drain the beans, put them in a large pot with cold water, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 45 minutes or until they are tender.  Drain the beans and put them in a large bowl.

Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4/180oc.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a wide frying pan. Gently saute the onions until they are soft, stirring often so that they don’t stick. Then stir in the celery, garlic, tomatoes and cook on medium heat until the vegetables are tender.  Stir in the stock, parsley and paprika.  Simemr for a few minutes before removing from the heat. Stir in the butter beans and season with salt and pepper to taste. Evenly pour over the remaining olive oil. Cover with foil and bake for about 35-45 minutes, if it is still heavy in liquid, remove the foil and cook for a fruther 15 minutes.  Then remove the oven.  Either stir into cooked couscous or Bulgar wheat. Scatter over the optional feta cheese.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Adapted from Tessa Kiros Falling Cloudberries.

24 comments:

  1. Butter beans and couscous two of my Husbands favourite things

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    1. Good to hear from you Cookie Jar. Hope your well.

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  2. Nope, I don't cook beans. I open cans. As it happens I have a can of butter beans on my counter at this very moment.

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    1. i do have some standby tinned beans in my cupboard too, just sometimes they can be a bit slimy in texture. So when I have time, which Ihave plenty of these days, I soak them.

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  3. I luvvvv da butter beans...this recipe looks great, I am on the dreaded weight watchers and ready to ban Cous Cous!

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    1. I've never been good with diets, and I have to admit I could do with losing a bit of weight. I'm the heaviest I've ever been in my life. For me though, I need more exercise.

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  4. I have never tried this type of beans and I am very tempted. It looks like a great dish!

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    1. They are also known as lima beans.

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  5. Hadnit thought of using butter beans with couscous. Excellent idea!

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    1. I think the combo is great, esp for working lunches/salads.

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  6. my sort of food. I can see how the feta brings this dish together.

    There's nice middle eastern store that has open 2 minutes from where I work in the city and they always have these huge bouquets of herbs - coriander, parsley and mint. Plus fresh curry leaves. It has led me to be making a lot more grain salads but where the herbs are king.

    I had a nice day baking today. Flaky butter buns (Dan Lepard) a cheese, coriander and chilli recipe which is one of my all time faves - whilst my wife made an italian potato, red pepper and onion pie which went well with jersey potatoes and UK asparagus. Nice.

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    1. The feta really does make a difference to it. I so agree fresh herbs make a mighty difference to dishes. Your baking day sounds fab - I'd like to get into proper baking one of these days, and by that I mean bread making. Ihave a few bread books that I should flick through for inspiration

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  7. It probably needs some of your famous Wild Garlic!

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    1. I think I may have od on wild garlic last year, so may ease off - saying that I did see some yesterday on my drive, but it wasn't the best place to pull up and forage, plus it was pouring buckets :)

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  8. That actually looks and sounds delicious. I have always loved butter beans, even as a child. This sounds perfect for my detox diet that I am on at the moment, so thank you xxx

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  9. That sounds completely fabulous - and it looks pretty good too. I love butter beans, but need to be motivated enough to soak my own because the tinned ones are always a bit slimy. This looks like a great take-to-work lunch idea, thanks!

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  10. I understand with the soaking of beans palaver, I am not always organised - just got time on my hands and not much money. This def. is a good working lunch.

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  11. This looks so yummy! I love beans :)

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    1. Thanks Zoe. I still have 250g butterbeans left - wondering what to do with them.

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  12. well I am not the greatest fan of butter beans but this combo really makes me want to try them....
    especially with the feta?

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    1. Thanks Sylvan.
      Realy does make difference to the dish,

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  13. oops - I think I hit publish too early before - but I wanted to say that smoked paprika makes anything taste good

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    1. Sure does Johanna.
      I recently made No Meat Athletes 'Facon Bacon' again, delicious!

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