Bored of baked beans? This recipe makes for a great alternative, whether you want them on toast or with a fry up. It also works well as a side dish if you are looking for something to serve with pork, chicken, meaty white fish, or even a big herb roasted portabella mushroom.
Though I’ve seen a few versions of garlicky beans doing the rounds, mine always go back to the ones I had many moons ago at The Fox and Hounds in Goldsborough, where Jason Davies does marvellous things with pulses. If the scallops with beans are on the menu then you’d be unwise to miss them. I haven’t been there since my gluten munching days, as I’ve not been up in North Yorkshire very much in the past couple of years. It is a very small restaurant, so I think would be advisable to ring ahead and advise of any requirements when you book. It is more than worth the worry that you are getting lost along the single track lane that you drive down to reach the tiny hamlet.
This is easy to make and perfect for the middle of winter! There are any number of twists and variations that you can follow, I have included a few ideas at the end of the recipe. This will serve 2 if it you want to eat it on toast, or are using it as a bed to serve a protein on, but would work for 4 if you are having it as part of a cooked breakfast.
- 1/2 an onion cut thinly into crescents
- 1 good sized clove of garlic, squashed/finely chipped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp gluten free vegan bouillon powder
- 400g (240g drained weight) tin of chickpeas, if you prefer to use dried and pre cook your own then 240g cooked weight.
- 1 tsp powdered garlic
- Black pepper – to taste, but give it a good twist
- 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, don’t be shy with it!
- the leaves from 2 stems of dill
- the leaves from 4-5 stems of parsley
- 200ml water (more if needed)
- optional garnish of a few rocket leaves and a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper
- Slice half an onion into thin crescents, cook gently with 2 bay leaves, over a medium-low heat, for around 10 minutes, in a good amount of extra virgin olive oil, make sure that the bottom of the pan has a decent covering.
- Once the onion has turned translucent and slightly golden, just at the point of caramelising a bit on the ends, add 1tsp of gluten free vegan bouillon powder, which will form a loose paste when mixed with the olive oil, I used Marigold, but feel free to substitute for your preferred brand, and the chopped garlic, turn the heat down a bit so that the garlic cooks but does not burn.
- After around 3 minutes add the chickpeas and a good twist of black pepper, stir to gently to mix everything together without crushing the chickpeas, but so that they are well coated in the other ingredients.
- After a further 2 minutes add 200ml of water and 1 tsp of powdered garlic, stir gently until the garlic powder is dissolved, turn the heat back up a little, and then leave to cook on a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for around 45 minutes. If you are more time pressed or are using a softer or smaller bean, 30 minutes would be fine, but use a little less water, for butter beans because of their size they would be better to use a little longer and a little more water. As the sauce cooks down, monitor the water and if it looks a little dry then add a bit more as needed.
- Chop the dill and parsley leaves, and stir through the chickpeas as you remove them from the heat.
Since I first had those fantastically garlicky beans at The Fox and Hounds, I have made more variations on them than I would care to remember. You could easily substitute borlotti or butter beans, the bigger or firmer the beans, the longer they need to cook with garlic so that they take up the flavour. Play around with herbs and seasonings too, fresh rosemary and thyme very well with the garlic, and would suit the dish better if you are making this as a side to accompany some pork but I have opted for dill and parsley to get a brighter flavour, since it is such a sunny day that I will pretend to myself it isn’t freezing out there! If you want to “dress this up for dinner” substitute a little dry white wine for some of the water that you add to the chickpeas.
Today I felt like making this on top of some gluten free toast. I am still nursing the cold that just won’t leave, which was my excuse for having breakfast in bed this morning, a slice of my Nordic Banana Bread and a big black coffee whilst working my way through a pile of admin.
If you have some left, you can smash them with a little more olive oil and spread them on toast, or add a squeeze of lemon juice and a few rocket leaves, and it makes a nice salad that would happily brighten up a quick lunch!
Thankfully it is almost the weekend, although I think it will be a quiet one for me, as I try to shake this cold before I travel up to North Yorkshire for a bit of house/dog sitting!