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Layered Potato and Red-Onion Bake with Black-Eyed Beans

Notes from a Vegetarian Kitchen 28/4/01

It’s been a few weekends of eating out and visiting people so no notes for a while.

However, things are back to normal now and my usual topsy-turvy world of unplanned meals returns. This Sunday we were to all be together for a roast dinner but Sue got called out to work and neither the children nor I wanted a large meal as we’d all eaten late on Saturday.

I’d bought some red onions to roast so I used them as the theme of this dish that appeared to me in that semi-aware state between sleeping and waking as I woke on Sunday morning, not that I’m obsessed with food you understand.

A variety of beans are stock-items in our house and if, like me, you eat a lot of beans you need to invest in two things; a pressure cooker and a well ventilated bedroom. A pressure cooker allows you to prepare from dry to edible any type of bean in a maximum of 45 minutes (many of the smaller beans take less) so all that soaking the night before (I always forget) and hours of steamy boiling vanish. If you are an occasional bean eater, then you are probably best with tinned beans.

Ingredients

• 120g Dried black-eyed beans
• 4 Medium red onions (you could use ordinary)
• 750g Potatoes
• 250g Crème Fraîche
• 50g Grated mature cheese
• Fresh Rosemary
• Fresh Sage
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil (ideally one that has been flavoured with garlic)
• Black Pepper
• Nutmeg

Potato and Red Onion Bake with Black Eyed Beans

Method

In 1ltr water, pressure-cook beans without trivet for 25 minutes until tender. Drain beans and retain liquid.
· Put the oven on to 175°C
· Scrub and pressure-cook potatoes for 12 minutes on trivet, using same liquid from beans (add more water if level is too low).
· Peel and slice onions into rings about 1cm thick
· Slice cooked potatoes also 1cm thick
· In an ovenproof dish, arrange alternate slices of onion and potato round the outside
· In the centre fill the space with the beans.
· Pour no more than 250ml of the liquid from the pressure cooker over the beans (you can add a stock cube or other flavouring to this).
· Over the beans, sprinkle with 8 to 12 sage leaves, then cover with Crème Fraîche and sprinkle with the cheese. Then grate ½ a nutmeg over the Crème Fraîche.
· Over the potatoes and onions sprinkle with rosemary leaves and pour oil over to give a light coating.
· Finally season well with black pepper and place in the oven.
· Cook for 35 to 45 minutes until the onions are cooked and the potatoes are crisp on top.

We were supposed to leave some of this for Sue when she got back from work. Unfortunately it was so popular that we ate it all up – bad luck Sue.

Enjoy!

Dave Wardell

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