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A Taste of the Med

I am loving the recipe swap that Kiki of Cardamom & Dill and I are doing! Have you tried any of the recipes we've swapped? Or any of our recipes altogether? Do let us know if you have/do! It's a lot of fun and a fab way to stay in touch. When I make one of her recipes, I feel like she's cooked dinner for me and is part of the experience, hence bringing us together.

This weeks, I have cooked her Spanish Paprika White Beans with a Sourdough Manchego crust. It hasn't escaped me that both recipes that I've picked out are Spanish. In all honesty, the only Spanish recipe that I can cook confidently is Tortilla Espanola. I love Spain and I adore Spanish food, but I've never had anyone teach it to me properly the way I have had Italian and Arabic food. So my journey through Kiki's recipes are going to take you through Spain and Greece mainly.

As expected, I made a couple of substitutions: I didn't have any sourdough so I used panko breadcrumbs instead. I also used tinned tomatoes instead of passata which meant I didn't have to used much water to thin it out. Manchego cheese is hard to come by in lockdown but luckily, we had some pecorino in the fridge that we brought back from Italy the last time we went, so I used that instead.

To use Kiki's original recipe, click the link above. For my riff, keep reading.

Kiki's Spanish White Beans with a Cheesy Crust


  • 1 red onion, finely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 2 tsp of sweet smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

  • 1 tin of tomatoes

  • 2 400g of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (you can also use butter beans)

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

  • 100g panko breadcrumbs

  • 100g of Pecorino cheese, finely grated

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. In a large frying pan, fry off the onion until it's soft and then add the garlic and spices. Stir everything around for a couple of minutes and then add the tinned tomatoes - swishing out the tin with a little bit of water that you also add to the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and cheese together and set aside. Add the cannellini beans to the tomato mix and stir well. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the lemon juice.

If your frying pan is ovenproof, great! If not, transfer the beans into an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over the breadcrumb mixture and place the dish in the oven for 20 minutes.

Serve with a fresh crispy salad or crudités. Or make this as a side to a glorious BBQ.


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