The bean reboot
Spicy haricots on toast with apple and cucumber salsa
Soak Overnight Prep 20 min Cook 1 hr 15 min Serves 4-6
200g dried haricot beans, soaked overnight in plenty of cold water 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 large onion, peeled and finely diced 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped 1 jalapeño chilli, deseeded and finely chopped 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground cinnamon 7g dried chipotle chilli (about 2 small chillies) 40g tomato paste 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar 2 tbsp apple-cider vinegar 4-6 slices sourdough, toasted Salt
For the salsa
1 green apple, cored, peeled and chopped into 1cm dice
1 Lebanese cucumber (or ⅓ regular cucumber), deseeded and chopped into 1cm dice
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
5g mint leaves, roughly torn
1 tbsp olive oil ½ tbsp lime juice
These baked beans are warm, comforting and ideal as a hearty brunch on toast or as a side dish to an epic barbecue spread. Just remember to soak the dried beans overnight. The smoky chipotle adds a robust flavour that makes this taste meaty despite it being vegan. The beans will keep for several days in the fridge: just reheat with a splash of water to loosen. The salsa is a great accompaniment, but a dollop of yoghurt or soured cream would work, too.
Drain the beans, discarding the water. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan on a medium flame, then fry the onion until soft and nicely browned – about seven minutes.
Add the garlic, jalapeño and spices, cook for a minute, then add the beans and a litre of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and leave to simmer slowly for 50 minutes, until the beans are soft but still hold their shape.
Meanwhile, put the dried chilli in a small bowl, cover with about 150ml boiling water and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Lift out the chilli – reserve the soaking liquid – then discard the stem and seeds. Put the chilli and two tablespoons of the soaking liquid in a spice grinder or small food processor, and blitz to a smooth puree.
Add the blitzed chipotle, tomato paste, sugar, vinegar and a teaspoon and a half of salt to the beans, turn up the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, until thickened and rich.
Just before serving, toast the sourdough and mix all the salsa ingredients in a bowl with an eighth of a teaspoon of salt. Pile the hot beans on the toast, and serve with the salsa on top or alongside.