My love of beans, lentils, and all pulses has been expressed many times. They are nutritious, delicious and so flexible, they are a dream for anyone who loves to cook. They can become soups, dips, stews, patties and burgers, the dried beans can be ground into a flour and become pancakes and lots of other wonderful things. Take the humble chickpea, and all its possibilities. Falafel, chickpea burgers, hummus, panelle, socca, before we even consider what we can do with it when it is simply its joyful self.
I wrote about my love for beans in my first book and how I batch cook them and freeze them to be used as and when I need them. Home cooking dried beans may seem like a fiddle, but all it takes is time, no intricacy, and the results are far superior, cheaper too. Beans are the ultimate frugal food, and for this reason maybe they don’t garner as much respect as they deserve. The underdog of the kitchen cupboard, some countries know how good they are and they elevate them. Principally Spain, I adore wandering through markets dotted with sacks of varied pulses, proud and shiny, and I always bring kilos of them home. Italy too, also France, and that is just looking at our nearest neighbours. Continue reading