Vegetable Beanpot

Haricot beans, butternut squash and pumpkin seeds for the vegetable
Haricot beans, butternut squash and pumpkin seeds for the vegetable bean pot

This is a highly versatile dish with no fixed ingredients. You can vary the choice of beans, vegetables and herbs and spices to suit the season and what is available. It is good with aubergines or peppers using Provencal herbs or middle eastern spices. Cooking times will vary according to the ingredients, but give yourself enough time to ensure that the beans are well cooked and be prepared to top-up the liquid. The crispy topping is an idea adapted from Nigel Slater and can be omitted. It is one of those basic dishes that is always better re-heated on the second day!

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 25g butter
  • 200g haricot beans (or similar)
  • 500g pumpkin or squash, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
  • 6-8 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 gloves garlic
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 125g coarse bread crumbs
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 30g grated Parmesan
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp dried pumpkin and sunflowers seeds (more if you like a very crunchy topping)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • grated jest from lemon
  1. Cover the beans with water and soak over night.
  2. Drain, and place in a saucepan with about 2 litres water
  3. Bring the water to the boil and skim off the froth. Reduce to a simmer, add bay leaves, partially cover and cook for 45-60 minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside.
  4. Toss pumpkin in olive oil enough to give a good coat, place in a roasting dish bake at 200°C for 30-45 minutes until soft and slightly caramelised (time will depend on the type of squash or pumpkin.
  5. Add the onions to your pan with 1-2 tbsp olive oil, soften on a low heat and then add the sliced garlic, cumin and cinnamon.
  6. Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil, then stir in the beans and the pumpkin. Fill an empty tomato can with water and add to the pan. Cover and transfer to the oven for 45 minutes at 200° C
  7. Add the garlic, peeled and crushed, then the Parmesan cheese to the bread crumbs. Season generously with black pepper and a little salt. Finely grate the lemon zest, and add it to the crumbs. Stir in the seeds
  8. Pour the olive oil into the breadcrumbs and toss gently to form a lightly moist mixture. Remove the bean dish from the oven, add more liquid if it appears very dry (water or more tomatoes). Check to ensure that the beans are soft, if not cook for another 15-30 minutes. Spoon the crumbs on top and replace, uncovered, in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust is crisp.


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