Homemade braised beans on whole-seed bread with avocado

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Maggie's Recipe for LifeWhether you’re having this for breakfast or brunch it’s definitely a plan-ahead dish as the beans need to be soaked overnight and their cooking time can vary, depending on how old they are. If the beans are fresh they will take about 40 minutes, but if they are older they can literally take hours. It’s also worth noting that the dish develops more flavour if it’s made in advance, so do allow time for this.

  • Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2¼ cups (250 g) dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and studded with 3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1 cm pieces
  • 5 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Keen’s mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
To serve
  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 6 thick slices whole-seed, rye or sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves
How to Make It
  1. Drain the soaked beans and rinse in a colander. Place in a large saucepan and cover with 4 times the amount of cold water to beans. Bring to the boil over high heat, skimming off any foam that comes to the surface. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes or until translucent, then add the studded garlic clove and cook for a further minute. Add the bay leaf, carrot and mushroom and cook for 5 minutes or until just soft but not coloured. Stir in the vinegar, then add the tomatoes and a good pinch each of salt and pepper. Combine the mustard powder with 1 tablespoon water, then add to the pan along with the brown sugar. Bring to the boil. Add the cooked beans, cover closely with a piece of baking paper (a cartouche), then cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to as low as possible and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding a little extra water to the pan if necessary, until the beans are tender.
  3. Remove from the heat and stand for about 1 hour. Remove and discard the garlic clove and bay leaf. Stir in the mint and check the seasoning.
  4. To serve, gently warm the beans over low heat. Cut the avocados into thin slices and toast the bread. Top the toast with the avocado, then the warm beans. Scatter with the parsley leaves.
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