Friday, 13 November 2009

Spiced Chard with butter beans

I got home from work this afternoon, opened the fridge and what did I find? Some chard that was wilting and had to be used, otherwise it was going to the compost bin, and I didn’t grow them to throw in the compost bin. So I told D that I was going to make this spiced dish with butter beans and I was going to serve it with couscous.

Like a four year old child disliking his greens, he snugged his nose and responded 'Two things I don’t like: legumes and couscous'. I offered to replace the couscous with plain boiled rice, but he was still having the butter beans. He goes, 'nah just go ahead I will just have to eat it'. Good, I thought because he didn’t have a choice if I was making our evening supper.
So there we were ready to tuck in. I watched him closely for his reactions to the dish, he took a spoonful, then another, then another and then another ‘Well?!’ I say, he knows this is a question. ‘Its quite tasty actually, I’m really enjoying it!’ I smiled ‘So am I’. What I really liked about the dish, was the way the lemon juice had seeped into the chard stalks and the subtle smokiness of the paprika and spices hitting the back of my throat. I liked it so much, I might just have to make it again – with couscous…
Spiced Chard with butter beans
Serves 4
A large bunch of chard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushes
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
2 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 or 2 red chillies, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
1 x 400g tin butter beans, drained and rinsed
Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
Optional: serve with soured cream or natural yogurt.
Prepare the chard by cutting the stalks from the leaves, then wash well. Cut the stalks into 2 inch diagonals. Slice the leaves well and set aside.Heat olive oil in a large pan with a fitted lid. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add the stalks and cook for a few minutes, then add the spices and chilli and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the lemon juice and seasoning. Reduce the heat and allow to cook with the lid on until the chard is tender, stirring from time to time. Add the chard leaves and beans and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, adjust seasoning to taste and stir through the coriander. Adapted from Maria Elia’s The Modern Vegetarian.


  1. I just discovered smoked paprika about 2 months ago, and I'm in love! It really adds so much pizazz to every dish I use it in. I love the way you used regular paprika and smoked paprika so that it wouldn't be too smokey. Excellent idea!

  2. Chard and Butter Beans sounds delish. Might have to try that one.
    I too like couscous, but would rather have this with creamy / cheesy mash ?

    Luv the blog - glad i found it.


  3. Looks lovely...Yum..and fantastic. Your blog is always full of great ideas and recipes! great work!

  4. husbands have a way of conveying their feelings without even opening their mouths sometimes! When I'm asked what we're having for tea and I'm being experimental I say what my mum always said to me 'wait and see pie'!

  5. That happens with my boyfriend sometimes too :)
    I love butterbeans, i think theyre probably my fav bean.


  6. That looks and sounds so delicious! It must be really good, that's why D kept eating something that he doesn't like, YUM! My husband does the same thing to me too, hahaha!!

    p.s. I'll have to come back to read your other posts next time, I have to do some work tonight. Talk to you later:)

  7. Thank you Sarah.
    I think I discovered smoked paprika whilst watching one of Nigella Lawsons earlier cookery shows, since then I have always had it in my kitchen cupboards, but I do think a little goes a long way!

    Thank you for the kind comments Gary Jen and Ruby.

    I would really recommend the dish and the creamy cheesy mash would be a good replacement for the couscous.

    Thank you so much Kiki.

    'wait and see pie' I like that! I have never heard it before, so will def use it on D the next time he squints his eyes at my culinary offerings.

    Thanks Rose, its good to read that its not just husbands, its boyfriend too :)

    So butterbeans are your favourite bean. I can see why. Although I enjoy eating butterbeans, I actually dont eat them that often.

    Thank you Oraphan.
    The dish was really good, even if I don't say so myself. You made me smile when you wrote your 'husband does the same thing'.

    See you later.

  8. yeah - if you are cooking, he can't be too fussy - besides lemon juice does amazing things to chard and smoked paprika does amazing things to any meal - sounds great- I love legumes and couscous

  9. Ooh! ooh! ooh! I like this take on chard and butterbeans, sounds like you just told me what to cook on Sunday, yah!!

  10. Kella,
    I hope you enjoy - just go easy on the chilli.

  11. it is 845 AM where I am and my mouth is watering for this!


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