Good food is important both for your health and also mental wellbeing which are all especially important during this difficult time when we are all self-isolating. We’ve all seen the pictures of supermarket shelves around the world that have been stripped bare (and many of us have experienced this ourselves in our own supermarkets) with the initial rush of panic buying that has been going on.
Tinned goods have in particular been flying off the shelf but in many cases, tins of beans (not the ones in sauce!) such as haricot beans, kidney beans, butter beans and even things like chickpeas have been left sitting on the shelves probably because people are unsure what to do with them!
The good news is you can make a delicious brunch with beans and also an amazing French dish called Cassoulet using mostly tinned beans. Ideal under the circumstances! Our Michelin starred chef, Clive Dixon let us have his recipes that are perfect for cooking at home. Clearly everyday supermarket shopping is off the cards so don’t worry if you’re missing an ingredient or two… feel free to mix things up a little and use what you have!
Brunch with Beans
- 4 smoked bacon rashers – cut into strips
- Pinch cumin seeds
- Half tin of mixed beans – drained
- Half avocado – diced
- Pinch pimenton powder hot or sweet
- 8 cherry tomatoes cut in half
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Rock salt
- Ground black pepper
- Half a red chilli (optional)
- Pinch of fresh chopped herbs such as basil or coriander (optional)
You will need a pan (preferably non stick) with a fitting lid
Put a small amount of oil in the pan and heat. Put in the cumin seeds, bacon and cook until the bacon is crispy. Add the beans, pimenton and tomato, season with a little rock salt and fry together until the tomatoes begin to soften. Then add in the avocado, stir together then reduce the heat.
Gently crack the eggs on top, season the top with salt and pepper, sprinkle on the herbs and drizzle on some olive. Flick in a little water (to create a little steam) and put on the lid. Allow to slowly cook the eggs to your liking and serve.
Either eat as it is or on some toasted bread such as sourdough.
- Tinned beans such as kidney beans, butter beans, haricot beans
- Tinned Chickpeas
- Tinned Tomatoes or Fresh Tomatoes
- Cooked Sausages (optional)
- Herbs, seasoning, lemon juice
- 1 x Stock cube (ideally vegetable but chicken is fine)
Preheat your oven to 120C. In a large ovenproof dish that can also be placed on the hob, add some oil (whatever you have, sunflower, olive etc.) and then on a low heat sweat the onion, celery and carrot (all diced or sliced) until soft. If you haven’t got a dish suitable for the hob and oven then do this in a frying pan.
Add the tomatoes (well chopped) and three tins of beans (drain first). Add in the cooked sausages (entirely optional… chop into chunks if you wish) and stir to mix everything up. Season with a little pepper, add some herbs and a dash of lemon juice. Add the stock cube and then a little water so the consistency is like a thick soup. You don’t want the beans swimming but equally there needs to be some liquid for the beans to soak up.
When this is done taste, season again if required and then place a lid on your ovenproof dish and put in the oven. If you prepared this in a frying pan then transfer this to an oven proof dish first. The heat is lovely and low in the oven meaning the Cassoulet will cook slowly. Check after 20 minutes (stir everything up) and put back in for 10 more minutes before serving.
You should end up with a delicious creamy, thick Cassoulet which will taste delicious! Serve with bread, a salad or just eat on its own.