Chilli Seasoned Beans with Lemony Asparagus Spears
"Spring is here, or at least it was before the lashing rainstorm yesterday. There is a shift in the air with whispers of warmer sunnier days. The supermarkets, vegetable stands, and allotment plots are filled with brighter, greener offerings including asparagus. I did not grow up eating asparagus but it is the first adventurous vegetable I tried as a teenager. It was served as a side on an Easter school trip to Italy. Simply cooked (like everything is cooked in Italy) with some fat, salt, and some lemon juice. It was perfect and it is my preferred way of eating it. Celebrating its unique favours with just a little.
Let’s talk about the actual beans though, they are a jar of perfectly cooked, lightly seasoned (with just salt) goodness and they melt in the mouth. BoldBean and Co are on a mission to revolutionise the way we perceive beans in this country simply by being so delicious but also a great highly satisfying alternative to meat while grown in good quality soil. They really are beans to brag about. They don’t need much but I’ve combined it here with to cook in a herby, chilli, onion butter. Altogether it comes to form a nourishing yet lighter spring meal.
(Swap the butter for olive oil if plant-based only and there is salt in the beans and most stock cubes have salt in them so I have forgone the salt.)"
1 jar or can of Queen butter beans
1 bunch of asparagus spears
50 grams of butter or ¼ cup of olive oil (+ a little extra for finishing)
1 red onion chopped
4 cloves garlic sliced
4 red chillis
¼ a stock cube
50 grams of pine nuts
½ lemon zest and juice.
Handful of herbs finely chopped (chives or parsley will go great)
Heat the butter or oil in a pan over medium heat along with stock cube and chillis. Cook till butter is foamy or till chilli starts to sizzle.
Add the onion and garlic and cook till the onions are softened and golden.
Now drain the beans and transfer to the pan, mix to coat the oil. Season and add pine nuts. Cook for 5 minutes to infuse all the flavours. Stir in the herbs and remove from heat.
Cook the asparagus in salted boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove from water immediately and drain under cold water.
Put it all together, plate up the beans, drizzle with lemon juice and lay asparagus on top.
Finish off with butter and lemon zest over the asparagus. Best served freshly made.
HUGE thanks to the legend that is Mehlaqa, aka @drmehlaqa, who let us share this #beanspo on our website for all you champs to enjoy.
Mehlaqa is a dentist with a focus on gum health + nutrition (she's setting up a pretty awesome side hustle, @thegumguide, for those of you, like us, who've never even thought about gum nutrition). Besides being a kick-ass expert in her field, she is a REAL #beanchamp + has supported us from the start.
Check out her website here to see plenty of interesting blog posts on nutrition, gum health + inticing recipes.