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
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
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.