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baked butter beans with creamy leeks & parmesan

I wasn’t very good at cooking growing up, I baked the worst cupcakes (literally, the WORST) and burnt everything. One of the main reasons I wanted to learn how to cook was my oldest friend Millie. When we were young, I would go to Millie’s house all the time and her mum would put on the biggest feasts, everyone would talk around the dinner table for hours. Mills would teach me about things I had no idea about; how to marinade chicken, adding herbs from the garden into dishes, how to make cupcakes that didn’t make the house explode. So a lot of my cooking and passion today has to be down to her.

When we started Bitter Lemon, I asked Millie to contribute a dish to the website - I knew it would be delicious. This is her dish and oh my is it fantastic. It’s rich, flavoursome, and homely - all the things you want from a great recipe. She got her inspiration from her mother-in-law who cooks something similar as a side to Sunday roasts. We’ve added butter beans, so you can cook this dish as a side for a big feasts or serve it as a semi-main along with salads and grains on the side. Give it a go, I know you’ll love it.

Serves 2 (or 4 as a side) & takes 30 minutes to cook


  • 3 leeks, finely sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme (or a few sprigs of fresh thyme)

  • 2x 400g cans of butter beans, drained

  • 150ml double cream (or crème fraîche)

  • 1 teaspoon of whole grain mustard

  • Handful of veggie-style parmesan cheese, grated

  • Olive oil (or butter)

  • Salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 190C, fan setting.

2. Place a large ovenproof pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil (or a knob of butter). Once warm, add the sliced leeks, chopped garlic and a good pinch of salt. Mix well and cook for 5-10 minutes until the leeks start to become soft. At this point, stir through the dried thyme.

3. Cook for another few minutes before adding the drained butter beans, mix well and cook for 10 minutes until they begin to break down and become soft.

4. Once soft, mix through the cream (or crème fraîche), whole grain mustard and a good handful of grated Parmesan, adding a splash of water if the mixture ever becomes too thick.

5. Finish in the oven for 10 minutes until golden on top and bubbling.


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