Nicoise Beans

10:00 am on 17 May 2019

Nicoise Beans

No caption

Photo: Julie Biuso

Serves 6

1 cup dried white beans (haricot or navy)

1 tsp red wine or sherry vinegar

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 Tbsp drained capers

75 ml olive oil

½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Flaky sea salt

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 large red pepper, halved, cored, deseeded and chopped

½ cup black olives, halved and stoned

12 basil leaves

1 tsp tomato concentrate mixed with 1 Tbsp water

¼ tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Soak the beans overnight in cold water to cover. Drain and tip into a saucepan. Pour on 6 cups of water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, remove any scum from the surface, then partially cover with a lid. Cook at a gentle bubble for about 40 minutes, or until just tender (scoop out a few beans every so often and have a check). Be careful not to overcook.

2 Make the dressing while the beans are cooking. Pat capers dry with paper towels and chop finely. Put vinegar, 1 clove of garlic and capers in a bowl large enough to toss with the beans. Whisk in the extra virgin oil and parmesan cheese. When the beans are ready, drain and tip into the bowl with the dressing and toss well. Taste, and add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt if you like (I do!).

3 Put the olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan, add the onion and red pepper. Start off on a medium-high heat, then once the cooking momentum is under way, lower heat and cook gently, stirring often until nearly tender and just starting to brown. Mix tomato concentrate and water, crushed garlic and salt and stir through vegetables. Cook gently for a further 5 minutes by which time everything should smell aromatic, and the vegetables should be tender. Add olives and basil. Spoon over the dressed beans, scraping in all the juices. Mix very gently together (just 2-3 stirs) then leave at room temperature to cool. Either serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate until required. The beans will keep a good 3 days.


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