White bean, zucchini, feta

My husband and I are vegetarian and so we always like to have some cooked beans on hand to top up our protein. At any given time we have bags of dried black beans, white beans, black eyed peas and chickpeas in our cupboard, so a tasty meal is only ever an hour in the pressure cooker away. Cooking beans yourself will always produce the best result, even if you don’t have a pressure cooker, but I often use tinned or jarred beans if I’m really pressed for time. We aren’t big zucchini fans in our house, but I was determined to find a way to cook them that I was happy with. I think it would have been even better to grill them, a little char would be very nice, but I had bread in the oven at the time, so out came the frying pan! The amount of herbs I used is a little vague, but I always like to encourage people to trust their taste-buds. Use what works for you! I could imagine a little quinoa or couscous mixed through this too.

White bean, zucchini, feta

Makes 4 portions

400 g of cooked white beans (I used cannellini)
2 zucchini, sliced into strips a few mm thick
150 g feta, crumbled
juice of 1/2 lemon (or to taste)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, core removed, ground to a paste with 1/4 tsp of salt in a mortar & pestle
Finely chopped mint from a few sprigs
Finely chopped coriander, leaves only from a few sprigs
Toasted sunflower & pumpkin seeds to serve

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, mint, and coriander in a bowl. Crumble the feta in and toss. Set aside.

Set a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a small drizzle of olive oil. Add the zucchini in batches to the pan, without crowding, lightly seasoned with salt (one side only) and fry until golden. Flip to cook the other side. Transfer the cooked zucchini to a plate and continue, adding a small amount of olive oil each time, until all slices are cooked.

Toss the beans, zucchini, and feta mixture together. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve with a sprinkle of toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds on top, extra olive oil and lemon juice if you like, and some crusty bread.

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