World Cuisine

  • 175 g (6 oz) dried butter beans, soaked in water for 6 hours or overnight
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1–2 chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1–2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2–3 tablespoons black olives, pitted
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1–2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • small bunch of flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped, to garnish

Drain and rinse the soaked butter beans. Cook them in a large saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about an hour until the beans are tender but not mushy. Drain and refresh them under running cold water.

Heat the olive oil and butter in the base of a tagine or large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, stir in the garlic, onion, chillies, coriander seeds and sugar and cook for 2–3 minutes to let the flavours mingle.

Add the drained butter beans, olives and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and thyme, re-cover and cook gently for a further 5–10 minutes. Garnish with the flat leaf parsley and serve with chunks of crusty bread, if liked.

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