29 February 2012

Beans with sorrel and gammon

This is a variant of Ottolenghi's butter bean and sorrel salad. Sorrel is not in too many places but it did crop up on Ridley Road market so I bagged some quick sharp. It turned out being more of a stew than a a salad and was pretty heavily modified with the inclusion of some green chillies and a mix of bean rather than just butter beans.

  • spring onions
  • lots of garlic
  • a few mild fresh chillies
  • beans
  • sorrel
  • feta

Start by frying the garlic, spring onions and chilli in olive oil.

After five minutes add beans of some sort. Right at the end add the sorrel - be warned it discolours quickly and vigorously to a disagreeable pond-green. You can either choose to have it more or less raw and retain its nice colour and texture or accept that it's going to melt in to the background as slime. Here is more what the dish is supposed to look like. Crumble your feta over it at the end and add some salt and pepper.

Beans and pork go together well - it's a natural marriage recognised by all right-headed people around the world. These beans would obviously be great as a salad or side dish but if you add some sort of pork they will do as a full meal. We had it with gammon, but some meaty sausages would be very nice. Sorrel has an extremely unusual sharp-sour taste which dissipates with cooking. It is a pleasantly astringent foil to something a bit blander like the beans, and a leaf I would definitely use again.

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