Tuesday 25 November 2014

Recipe of the day: Greek Baked Beans on Toast

Tomatoey beans tarted up with oregano, feta cheese and citrus zest...

Published 27/05/2014 | 02:30

Greek baked beans on toast.
Greek baked beans on toast.

Serves 6 as a starter or snack

This is an ideal recipe to serve if you're making a brunch BBQ – tomatoey beans tarted up with oregano, feta cheese and citrus zest. You can make the butterbean mixture ahead of time, then cook them in a pot on the hob or bake them in the oven. Toast up some good bread on the grill, dollop on the butterbeans and demolish!

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

150ml red wine

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried

1 tbsp brown sugar

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 x 400g tin butterbeans, rinsed and drained

250g baby spinach

1 loaf of crusty rustic bread, sliced

100g feta cheese, crumbled

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

zest of 1 lemon

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Method:

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Gently sauté the onion for 10 minutes, until very soft.

Add the garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Pour in the wine and let it bubble up until it has reduced by half. Add in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano and brown sugar. Season well with salt and pepper and stir. Bring up to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until thick and rich.

Add the rinsed and drained butterbeans and cook for a further 10 minutes. Stir in handfuls of the baby spinach and continue to cook until it wilts into the butterbeans.

 Toast slices of bread on the BBQ. Transfer to a plate and add generous dollops of the butterbeans. Garnish with crumbled feta cheese, parsley and lemon zest. Serve hot or cold as a snack.

Ish Factor: Oregano is one of the most predominant herbs in Greek cooking. Greek oregano has a particularly pungent flavour and the name literally means 'joy in the mountain' in Greek.

There are several types of oregano that are widely grown. The good news is that oregano dries very successfully, retaining much of its flavour, so make this herb your new Greek Pantry Pal.

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