Eating in: recipe for the creamiest haricot beans


Eating out just isn’t an option at the moment. And some of us aren’t keen to live off take outs. That’s why we’ve teamed up with chef and artist Inês Neto dos Santos to bring an easy but super delicious recipe for creamy haricot beans which will be included in her upcoming cookbook.

The cookbook comes off the back of her sensational art project called Tender Touches. The cafe-exhibition in Peckham was organised by Open Space and curated by both Ines and Huma Kabakci. Here, the cafe was an art installation and food was made all around them.

And now she is looking for people to help get the cookbook off the ground by having them donate via their Kickstarter page. So, try Ines’ recipe out. And, if you like it, go donate!

What you’ll be making  

This haricot bean dish was a regular favourite at Tender Touches, served with a seemingly unlikely – but totally delicious – pairing: fruit! Top these beans with a few slices of blood orange (still in season now!) or not-too-ripe strawberries later in the year. Sharp plums in late summer/autumn would work well too.

I’m a fan of buying jars of pulses, rather than tins – something about the glass provides a more tender, better tasting pulse.

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Inês Neto dos Santos at Tender Touches last year.

Plus, my mother, aunt and grandmother all swear by glass jarred pulses – so much so, I don’t even dare looking at the tinned stuff (but, really, buy a tin if you have no choice. They’ll never know.


400g jar haricot beans
1 large brown onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 stalk of celery
1 bay leaf (fresh is best, but dry is also fine)
Salt + black pepper
Good olive oil
1 blood orange or 2 strawberries, depending on season
2 slices of good, crusty bread

Step One

Peel and finely chop the onion, garlic and celery and add them to a pot, along with the bay lead and with LOTS of olive oil (I mean it!). Add salt and cook on low heat until the vegetables are lovely and soft and fragrant, stirring occasionally. This will take around 30mins.

Step Two

Tip the jar of beans into your onion base – liquid and all! This is the secret to their creaminess. The starchy liquid from the beans will bring everything together as a beautifully cosy, creamy, saucy blanket. Add a splash of water and cook for a few more minutes.

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The Tender Touches cafe at Open Space. Images by Tania Dolvers.

Step Three

In the meantime, toast your bread and peel/prepare your fruit: cut the blood orange into segments, making sure to remove the pith and any white bits; or remove the stem and quarter the strawberries.

Step Four

Plate the beans up, and top with orange segments or strawberry. With the fruit, a little goes a long way. Season with black pepper, a little salt if needed, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with warm, crusty bread on the side & eat immediately (ideally with a glass of white wine).

Donate for Ines’ Kickstarter here.
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