I LOVE baked beans. Seriously. I will incorporate them into any meal that I can and I always order them as a side when I am out for breakfast. With cafe breakfasts and brunches becoming fancier and fancier these days, it is not uncommon for your side of baked beans to arrive as a chunky, tomatoey home made version of the old Mr Heinz classic – and it is these home style recipes that have taken my love for the humble baked bean to a new level.
I decided to have a go at making my own this weekend and boy, am I glad I did. It was absolutely delicious. Rob, who will always order ‘the big breakfast’ without so much as looking at a menu said he would have these baked beans on toast any day of the week. So I know it was not just me being hungry!
In addition to tasting a bit special, they are super easy to make and far less acidic than the normal beans out of a can, meaning a better option for the young ones too. And you can definitely ‘adult’ them up like we did with a splash of hot chilli sauce or a sprinkle of chilli flakes. I garnished mine with feta and spring onions, mainly because I had them on hand, but you could add some chopped parsley, or basil – any herb you like really! I served ours on toasted turkish bread with some wilted spinach with lemon and it really worked well.
And if you wanted to go all out – a poached egg on top – which I had this morning with the leftovers – takes it to the next level. So, so good! 😋
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
3 short pieces of bacon, diced
400g can cannellini beans
400g can diced tomatoes
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp mild english mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp dried parsley
feta and spring onions to garnish
150g english spinach leaves, washed and dried
1 tbsp butter
juice from 1/4 lemon
toasted turkish bread to serve
hot chilli sauce (optional)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2 big serves
Warm oil in a heavy based frypan. Add onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until softened and fragrant. Don’t be tempted to rush this step as it’s important that the onion cooks down and is soft (and sweet) before you proceed with the next step.
Once the onion and garlic have cooked down add your bacon. Continue to cook your bacon until it is starting to sizzle.
Then add your paprika. Stir the paprika continuously until it has covered then contents of your pan and is fragrant.
Add your canned tomatoes and stir to combine. Then add your Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and mustard. Stir to combine and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Next, add the cannellini beans and stir to combine. Make sure all the beans are covered with the sauce and allow to simmer on low heat for about 4-5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to your taste. Add dried parsley, stir through, turn off heat and set aside.
In a separate pan, heat butter. Once melted add the spinach and cook down until it is wilted. It should take less than a minute. Once the spinach is wilted add the lemon juice, stir through and turn off the heat. Season with cracked pepper.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Top toast with wilted spinach, then spoon on the baked beans.
Top with crumbled feta, thinly sliced spring onions and some cracked pepper.
Drizzle with some hot chilli sauce (if desired).