Creamy butter beans cooked with caramelized onion and garlic and a hint of smokiness make the best topping for a good sourdough and freshly cut avocado. These Spinach Garlic Butter Beans are not only easy to make but are just like the ones you might find at a good city cafe.
When Onion Is Really The Main Ingredient
Although these Spinach Garlic Butter Beans give you no indication that there is onion in the recipe, it is in fact the star of the show. And needs to be prepared with love and care. If you get the onion cooking right, this recipe is just spectacular.
Perfectly cooked, golden caramelized and almost buttery onion forms the base of the recipe. Cooking onion correctly is not only about using the right amount of fat and heat but also the right pan. For this recipe, I use a heavy-bottomed stainless steel saute pan. These pans take a little longer to heat up completely but once they do, their heat retention is perfect.
I use good quality extra virgin olive oil to fry and caramelize my onions. I have also tried this recipe with butter and it is equally delicious if not a tad more decadent. After cooking the onion and garlic into blushed submission on low to medium heat for about ten minutes, it is only a matter of adding the other ingredients and cooking until heated through. The combination of mustard and balsamic mimics a Worcestershire sauce flavour that is absolutely delicious.
Add this version of the homemade baked beans to your weekly cooking repertoire. It is a refreshing recipe as it doesn’t have the traditional tomato sauce. These Spinach Garlic Butter Beans make a great quick lunch idea. They surprisingly taste amazing hot or cold (I prefer hot!). Often, I cook them at night while hot water for my nighttime tea is boiling in the kettle. Waking up to a container of this in the fridge that only needs to be warmed up and topped on toast is a really good feeling.
Spinach Garlic Butter Beans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 brown onion, peeled and finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
- 2 X 400g cans butter beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable stock
- 120 g baby spinach leaves
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed saute pan on medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook on medium-low heat for a couple of minutes until onion appears glazed and is starting to brown. Reduce heat to low and cook the onion for a further 8-10 minutes, tossing occasionally until translucent and gently caramelized.
Add mustard, butter beans, smoked paprika and balsamic vinegar. Increase heat to medium and cook for a 2 minutes until heated through. Add the vegetable stock. Mix well and cook for a further 2-4 minutes until some of the stock has evaporated.
Add spinach. Mix well. Cook for a minute until spinach is wilted and remove from heat. Serve hot or cool completely and store in the fridge in an air-tight lidded glass container for up to 2 days.
Butter Beans – You can replace them with any canned legume in the pantry. Although butter beans taste the best in this recipe, other good substitutions are cannelini beans and chickpeas.