Baked Seaweed Beans (Haricot Beans with Tomatoes, Seaweed and Balsamic Onions)

This post and recipe is sponsored by Indigo Herbs who asked me to create a recipe for them using anything from their range. I was impressed by the vast range of ethically sourced produce. My attention was drawn to the pulses and seaweeds and I came up with this now favourite recipe of Baked Seaweed Beans. 

Toot toot! I am going to start shouting about beans again. A big batch of home cooked beans are a boon in the kitchen and a joy for the creative home cook, a relief for a tired one. Inexpensive and friendly, beans go with everything. They are fantastic value and always better cooked from scratch at home.

Home Cooked Beans 

Home cooked beans have better flavour and texture generally. Beans with bite and texture, seasoned as you like, and not as required to preserve them in a tin. Home cooked beans are resilient. You can slightly undercook them in the first boil from soaked. That way when you put them in the dish that becomes their forever home, they will finish cooking then, until just so, and not fall apart as some tinned pulses can.

To soak or not to soak? I soak my beans. People feel very strongly about this, mainly those who don’t soak. I am here to say that soaking your beans is useful, and I do it. While I agree it is true that most beans now don’t need soaking, especially with a pressure cook, soaking them overnight before cooking is no effort and your beans cook faster as a result at the least. It is all part of the rhythm and the process for me.

I do lots with beans and I love making batches of different takes on homemade baked beans. It is all very simple as the best things are, boiled haricot beans cooked until almost but not quite soft, removed to a casserole with some viscous bean water which helps make a sauce that clings when baked.

Once you have cooked a batch you can use them as the centre of meals that follow or a supporting actor. I love a big platter of beans to share with friends – post-pandemic of course! – but I also love to cook up a big pot for myself and dip in and out of it for the days that follow. Especially in busy times or when I am not feeling inclined to cook.

Baked Seaweed Beans – just before baking

Embracing Seaweed in the Home Kitchen

I adore seaweed. There are two I use at home most. Dulse is a favourite which I love to add it to broths to give salt and umami depth. I love to fry it until crisp. It is so savoury and gorgeous. I love to use Kelp for broths like dashi. Here, I added a third new favourite, Irish Gutweed from Indigo Herbs. I recognised it immediately, even dried, from the rockpools of my youth and it was the cause of many a fall as I dashed over rocks. Dried and then fried it is a delight. Deeply savoury and crispy again. I will use it on rice, on eggs, everywhere. It is a perfect seasoning and will make a great seasoned salt.

In terms of how many dried beans you need to cook, I found 1kg of dried haricot beans resulted in 2450g of drained cooked weight. So for 500g of cooked beans, you need about 210g dried beans. But, just cook a batch. You won’t regret it.

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Written by Niamh
Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.