A summery veggie bake with some very cool beans indeed.
A few weeks ago, as I was doing research for an article I’m writing about beans, I made a thrilling discovery: Great British Beans.
I was making a few phone calls to try to find black beans produced in the UK and, as it turns out, I stumbled upon some even cooler beans. I talked to a very friendly person at Hodmedods who definitely sounded passionate about pulses. He talked about this potentially dry subject in a really interesting way and definitely knew his onions! I personally find pulses pretty exciting. This love affair started when I lived in Spain, and it kept on growing with my increasingly vegetarian diet.
I ordered my first sampler pack of Hodmedods beans last week. My heart raced a bit as I open the beautifully design package (it even comes with a mini recipe book). It was almost the Christmas kind of excitement; new beans are a motive for much rejoicing in my kitchen. Finding delicious beans grown in the UK is a revelation for locavores and anyone interested in reducing their carbon footprint.
I’ve been plotting various recipes, and here’s the first one I’ve made. The beans are all they promised to be and more: hearty, nutty and fleshy.
Baking time: 1h
- 3 medium courgettes
- 250 gr. fava beans
- 700 ml. organic passata
- 2 tbsp. organic tomato concentrate
- 2/3 cup polenta
- 1 big garlic clove
- 1 big red onion (or 2 medium)
- 1 branch fresh tarragon
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 200 ml water
- butter (for dish)
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 1 & 1/2 cup Scottish oats
- 1/3 cup wholemeal or spelt flour
- 200 gr. fresh goats cheese
- 1 big garlic clove, chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
- salt and pepper
Cook the fava beans (either soak overnight and cook, or do a couple of rounds in your pressure cooker).
Prepare a tomato sauce for the fava beans:
Sweat the sliced onions and chopped garlic in a bit of olive oil until soft. Add the passata, tomato concentrate, fava beans, sugar, chopped tarragon, salt and pepper (you can also add a bit of red wine or Port there for greater taste). Either cook the sauce in your pressure cooker, or just let it simmer on the hob for 30-45 minutes. Add a few drops of olive oil once cooked.
Pre-heat oven on 225C.
Prepare your crumble:
In a blender or a bowl, add all the ingredients and mix until it crumbles.
Sweat the finely sliced courgettes in a bit of olive oil until they start getting soft (a third chopped garlic clove can be added here if you wish).
Butter your dish (I use goats butter these days, the taste is great for savoury bakes).
Spread the polenta at the bottom of your dish. Add a layer of courgettes, then a layer of fava beans mix, then more courgettes, more beans and finish with a layer of courgettes. Pour 200 ml. of water.
Spread the crumble at the top.
Place your dish at the bottom of your oven and bake for 50 minutes, and place it in the middle for the crumble to brown for 10 more minutes.
Serve hot with lettuce and vinaigrette.