Smoky beans on toast
Serves 4 | prep 20 mins | total time
For the beans
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 1 thyme sprig
- 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 400g tin butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 400g tin cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- a good handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- crushed dried chilli flakes, to serve
For the toast
- 4 slices of good wholemeal bread
- drizzle of olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- Preheat the oven to 150°C, fan 130°C, gas 3.
- Heat the olive oil in a casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent. Now add the paprika and garlic and stir for 1 minute, before throwing in the thyme, both types of beans, the tomatoes and 100ml water. Give it all a quick stir, put the lid on and pop it into the oven for 20 minutes (longer cooking will give you drier beans, so this is a matter of taste).
- Remove, stir in the red wine vinegar and season to taste.
- Now heat up a griddle pan over a really high heat. Brush both sides of the bread with a tiny bit of olive oil and rub the halved garlic clove swiftly across both sides. Grill each side of the toast on the griddle pan until fragrant and stripy.
- Serve the beans on the toast and sprinkle with the parsley and chilli flakes.
This is the vegan base of my homemade beans. They are so simple to make and great for batch-cooking. If you don't need this to be veggie, try adding chorizo with the onions instead of the paprika, or vary it with lean bacon and a good dose of herbes de Provence. This recipe works with any beans and is particularly good with chilli and lots of fresh herbs. Play around and find your favourite combination.