Butter beans in saffron and tomato sauce

This is a great recipe to have to hand for any type of bean but here these beautiful fat Spanish butter beans seem befitting to be paired with the Spanish saffron I have.  I grew up knowing butter beans as lima beans.  The saffron can be omitted and for a change add chilli to make spicy butter beans.

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A word of warning on the amount of saffron if you are someone who is sensitive to the taste of it, use it sparingly otherwise to the tastebuds that is all you will be able to taste with a harsh metallic aftertaste.

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Soak the beans over 8-12hrs or if you forget use my short-cut here.

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To the dish I added freshly grounded coriander seeds for their orange-citrus tone, for that reason do not pre-roast them or it will be lost.  You can use coriander powder, the fresher it is the stronger its orange fragrance.

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Add the onion and fresh rosemary to virgin olive oil and cook slowly until the onion is soft.

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Add the ground coriander and stir for few seconds.

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Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil, cover and cook on a slow boil until the beans are done 1 1/2hrs.

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Butter beans in saffron tomato sauce
Author: 
 
Serves 6-8 as side dish.
Ingredients
  • 500g butter beans, soaked
  • 1 onion large, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ tablespoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron strands about 30 stigma strands, soaked in little hot water for 5mins
  • 400g / 2 cups can plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 500ml / 2 cups water
  • 1⅕-2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon peppercorns, crushed to powder
Instructions
  1. In a large pan add the onion and fresh rosemary to virgin olive oil and cook slowly until the onion is soft.
  2. Add the ground coriander and stir for few seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil, cover and cook on a slow boil until the beans are done, about one and a half hours. Now and again during cooking stir.
  3. When the beans are ready if the sauce is not thick enough for you, lift the lid turn the heat up and continuously stir until the liquid had reduced.