This Butter Bean stew packs a punch. A big, Moroccan-inspired, flavoursome punch. The combination of chunky beans, salty olives, and sweet, juicy tomatoes work wonders in my world. This dish also pleased the little lady, and her Nonna liked it too. In fact, we so enjoyed these butter beans that I wondered if I should recalculate the recipe so that we could have bigger portions and some leftovers too…
The recipe developed from three happy coincidences:
First, A-L just loves olives. Similar to her ice cream obsession (which I reported here), my 2 year old daughter can spot an olive a mile off. Whether in a supermarket or a farmers market (yes in London, our farmers grown and sell olives…?!), A-L naturally gravitates towards all things olive. I like to think that it’s her Italian heritage shining through but I suspect that this obsession has more to do with the tasty, saltiness of the little fruits. Anyway, I’ve been meaning to cook up an olive intense dish for a while…
Second, I happened upon a new Greek shop which sells the best and biggest butter beans that I have ever seen. I mean seriously big beans. I couldn’t wait to cook them in my pressure cooker and serve them up to the family (expecting a ‘wow wee’ from my daughter…although I think the size of the butter beans were lost on her a bit).
Third, the shops are full of cherry tomatoes. The sweet, juicy and in-season kind of tomato. Hooray- let’s cook them up…
So, put olives, butter beans and cherry tomatoes together with a sprinkling of this and a touch of that and… you have a truly delicious dinner. This is quite a dry stew so add more liquid if you fancy but be wary of mashing up the beans and tomatoes too much. This recipe served 2 adults and a toddler.
- 2 generous tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped finely
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped finely
- 1 cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (constituted around 1 heaped tsp of fresh ginger)
- 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground sweet paprika
- 200g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (around 15 tomatoes)
- 100g black olives (I used natural black or kalamata olives)
- 1 tin of butter beans, rinsed and drained
- 150ml low salt vegetable stock
- Handful of fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
- In a large pan, fry the onion in the olive oil over a low-medium heat. Fry for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent but not brown.
- Add the garlic, ginger, cumin and paprika to the pan. Fry for a minute or two whilst mixing together.
- Add in the remaining ingredients: cherry tomatoes, olives, butter beans and stock. Mix well. The amount of liquid won’t look very substantial but as the tomatoes cook, they will release their juices.
- Put the lid on and simmer gently for around 15 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 5 minutes so that the stock has reduced and the bean mixture is coasted in a deep brown sauce (see photo). Mix in the chopped parsley, if using. Serve with rice or crusty bread.