Beautiful beans: how to use them in everything from burgers and dips to flatbread and chutney

beautiful beans how to use them in everything from burgers and dips to flatbread and chutney

Judith Choate loves beans. “Everything about them is good,” says the American chef and food writer. “They’re cheap, they’re highly nutritious. They’re good for the planet: when farmers farm them, they put nutrients back into the earth. I can’t even think of anything bad about them, except the one thing that people object to, which is they do take some time to cook.” Choate has now written The Mighty Bean, a book packed with simple recipes to encourage more of us to love legumes. Here are some of her tips to make the best of beans.

Store-cupboard basics

Make sure you keep several beans and pulses in stock for quick meals, says Choate. “Always lentils, because you can quickly put together lentil soup, which will take no more than a half-hour.” As for beans, she always keeps “one red, one white, one black” to cover most recipes (she isn’t precious about substituting beans; cooking times may vary, but one bean can often be swapped for any similar other). “And chickpeas: you can do all kinds of Middle Eastern recipes, as well as the old stand-by, hummus, which is the perfect snack.” Look out for more unusual beans, too. “I wouldn’t say the ayocote blanco is wildly different from cannellini beans, but it’s fun to experiment…

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