Butter Beans with Fennel, Lemon and Tomato (V)

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 large bulb of fennel
  • a small bunch of spring onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or a small handful of chopped fresh oregano
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 x 400g tins of butter beans
  • a small bunch of fresh dill
  • feta, flatbreads and leaves to serve


  1. First prepare the fennel. Remove the bulb’s tough outside layer, then trim and slice along the length of the bulb through the root into 1cm slices
  2. Heat a large heavy frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a good drizzle of olive oil. When the pan is hot and the oil starts to ripple, add the fennel, spreading it out so one flat side hits the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, until browned and caramelised, then turn over and cook for another 2 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the spring onions and garlic. Once the fennel is browned, add the spring onions and garlic to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes.
  3. Chop the tomatoes and cut the lemon into wedges, then add both to the pan with the fennel seeds, oregano, chilli flakes, honey and vinegar. Let the liquid reduce for a minute or so before adding the beans and 100ml of water. Cook until the beans are warmed through – about 5 minutes.
  4. Chop the dill and scatter over to finish, along with a drizzle of good olive oil
  5. Serve with feta, warm flatbreads and some leaves

Recipe contributed by Hilary from A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones