Citrus Butter Beans – The Last of the Summer Hummer

The last of last weeks lovely summer hummer salads. This was my fave, although I think that we added a little too much of the old purple onion for most peeps, so watch that.

Segmenting the orange was a strange experience that you would think is easy, but again like most of these things is “easy once you know how”, I’ll wait for Pat to add this as a tip. Suffice to say we used an orange or two more than we should whilst learning this one.

citrus butter beans, close up


  • 1/2 to 1 red onion – finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 7 sprigs of Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 4 Oranges
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Fistfulls of butter beans – dried not tinned

I love this one, it makes me feel healthy just thinking about it. Ere, it’s got fruit in it, it must be.

Anyway, let’s get on it.

Soak the butter beans over night in a cool place, in plenty of water. Next day drain them off and stick in a pan with fresh cold water, add a punch of salt and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes (or whatever the packet says), they need to be “soft yet firm”, apparently plastic surgeons hear that all the time.

Drain and cool. The left over stock is great for veggie stew and tastes remarkably meaty.

Segment the orange. Sounds easy… This took me ages and frankly I think I need more practice. Essentially you cut the orange in half, slice off the skin and then “cut out” the segments from the pith… I’ll try and get Pat to do a proper tip on this one.

Once the beans are cool, plop in a bowl, squeeze over the lemon, fully wring it out. Drop in the orange segments (best to cut them in half first), don’t waste any of the orange that you haven’t cut out, wring out the juice from that as well.

Add the chopped onion, we added the whole onion, but I think for most people a half is enough, we like things strong, I imagine that we are a bit pervy with tastes. Add the thyme, don’t add the twigs(!) strip off the leaves, mix it and then add 4 seconds of olive oil (slow pourer of course). Mix everything up and add salt and pepper to taste.

citrus butter beans

I suppose that you could use tinned beans, but I kind of like creating things that we can use later in other recipes. The stock looked good and Pat says that “in a veggie stew” it rocks. I’m starting to get the idea that good food doesn’t need to be expensive. It’s a bit like connecting the dots, one thing leads to another…

11 thoughts on “Citrus Butter Beans – The Last of the Summer Hummer”

  1. I love the counting measuring! four seconds of oil! Brilliant. 🙂

    This looks tasty, too…ever thought about trying other fruits?

  2. The counting is genius, it’s one of the main reasons I’m able to actually learn anything with the MCC. By the time I’ve found a jug/scales/table spoon or desert spoon I’ve forgotten what day it is and what I’m doing. I like the piches, punches and fistfulls too, all proper man sizes… 😉

  3. God. I hate to do this, but as you say you are learning to cook, I thought I might mention something that could make the onion less pervy. If, say, you wanted to feed this to your mother, you could soak the onion in the salt and lemon juice for a half hour whilst you were doing something else. It makes it bearable to some. And, and, it might be easier on the breath if you were trying to impress someone, like, your mother.
    It does look tasty. If it weren’t 113 here, I might try it.

  4. Thanks Jess, all tips greatly appreciated. Althought to be fair Pat did only want to put 1/2 an onion in, which would’ve been more bearable to most. I think he saw that slightly insane twinge in my eye, which is why we put the other half in too.

    As it happens if I wanted to impress my mother, I could just make her a cup of tea, or offer her a biscuit. Progress is progress after all… 😉

  5. This looks quite lovely.

    I’m missing most of the ingredients, but with what I’ve got on hand, I’ve made some scrumptious lunch salads this week with just tinned butter beans, lemon juice, olive oil, dried dill, and salt.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  6. Shaula, that sounds cool, I tried to make this again in larger quantities the other day but somehow managed to get hard beans and too much orange juice. Tinned beans don’t really appeal to me, but in this case might be easier to manage.

  7. I prefer freshly-cooked beans, too.

    I work from home, and I don’t like to dawdle in the kitchen making lunch. So, a quick tean of beans at lunch time has a strong appeal.

    I’m also in Richmond, Virginia, where the incredibly hot weather this summer has significantly deleted the appeal of cooking that involves…well, cooking! My can-opener and I have been spending a lot of quality time together.

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