Fried Beans with Feta, Spinach and Sumac

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fried beans feta spinach sumac citrus victoria gourmet recipe

Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi - this is a dish that delivers textures, citrus notes from the Sumac and lemon, salt from the feta, and fiery heat from the Fresno Chilies. 


2 teaspoons Sumac
1 pound dried white beans, such as great northern, cannellini or lima
2 tablespoons baking soda, optional
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus a drizzle to finish, divided
8 scallions, sliced lengthwise into long strips, then halved
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 red chilies (we used Fresno), sliced thin
4 cups baby spinach
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
A handful of fresh herbs, roughly chopped, basil, cilantro and/or dill, chervil

Recipe Info

Difficulty Level: 
Prep Time: 
10 minutes
Cook Time: 
36 minutes
Resting Time: 
12 hours
Total Time: 
12 hours, 36 minutes
Serving size: 


1. Put the beans in a large pot, cover with plenty of water and a pinch of baking soda. Let stand overnight.
2. The next day, drain then simmer the beans until just tender. The cooking time may be as little as 30 minutes, or over an hour, depending on the beans. Add additional water if necessary.
3. Once cooked, drain the the beans and toss them in a bit of olive oil. The oil will prevent the skin of the beans from flaking, and add salt to taste.
4. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 1 teaspoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Then stir in 1/3 of the beans. Fry in a single layer until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat until all beans are fried.
5. Add in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter and tablespoon of olive oil along with the scallions, garlic, red chilies and baby spinach to the skillet. Cook until the greens are just wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the beans. Let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
6. Stir the salt, lemon juice and Sumac, fresh herbs and feta. Toss to coat with a drizzle of olive oil.


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Recipe Tip:
1/4 teaspoon baking soda can be added to dry beans and then cooked until tender. Adding baking soda will cut the cooking time by half.
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