Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Beans Beans the Magical Fruit...


....The more you eat the more you- speaking of which, are beans actually considered a fruit?

Regardless – beans, pulses, legumes – whatever you want to call them are probably some of my favourite things on earth (apart from my cats and exciting flavoured chewing gum). Rarely do I find that they are a bad addition to my plate.

A handful of lentils chucked into a warm chicken and ricotta salad, a salsa of kidney beans, coriander, avocado, Spanish onion and lime juice smooshed onto crunchy sourdough bread, veggie sticks slathered in a chunky homemade hommous or a handful of split peas thrown into a soup or curry – often I call on these little gems to provide me with much needed protein, carbohydrate and fibre throughout the day.

While nothing truly beats a good potato mash, this combo of cannellini beans, lemon, garlic and parsley comes pretty close. Slightly mashed and oozingly warm, they provide a comforting reprise from our still too cool nights. Served alongside free-range, lean pork fillets stuffed with walnuts and sage, and sweet, soft roasted parsnip I think I may say goodbye to boring steak and three vege forever…

Walnut stuffed Pork Fillet with Cannellini bean mash 
Serves 2
1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 brown shallots, finely diced
Large handful of parsley
1 lemon
2 parsnips
2 x pork fillets
1/2 a cup of walnuts
1 teaspoon horseradish or mustard
A few sprigs of sage
A large handful of green beans

For the pork fillets, cut a slit into the side to create a little pocket to fill. In a mortar and pestle, lightly bash up the walnuts, add some salt and pepper, a glug of olive oil, the horseradish or mustard, some lemon zest and a few finely chopped sage leaves. Mix together and stuff the pork fillets with the mixture.
Rub a bit of olive oil over the fillets and season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Meanwhile, roast the parsnips in a medium oven until crispy and golden on the outside and soft inside. 
To make the mash, place the chopped shallots in a saucepan with a generous dash of olive oil. Saute the shallots over a medium heat until translucent and golden. Pour the drained beans into the saucepan, along with the finely sliced garlic and continue to cook for a further few minutes. Turn the heat off, stir through the juice from half a lemon and chuck in the roughly chopped parsley leaves.
Grill the pork in a pan over a medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until thoroughly cooked through the filling startes to ooze out. Serve with the parsnips, steamed beans and bean mash. 


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