Slow-cooked beans and shiitake mushrooms

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Preparation info

  • Serve


    as a side dish
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables: The new food heroes


By Peter Gordon

Published 2007

  • About

While we tend to lump all ‘greens’ into one category, they actually belong to a large group made up of quite different characters. We like our greens crunchy and brightly coloured these days, but I’ve included a couple of recipes for slow-cooked greens – the flavour’s still there but the texture changes. It was overcooked Brussels sprouts in my childhood that put me off greens, so you do need to know how to handle them. If you favour boiling, always add them to plenty of rapidly boiling water, putting in the salt just before the greens. Also, don’t cover the pan if you want to keep a good colour. Steaming is another, quicker way to cook greens. The rule-of-thumb when buying greens is that they should be firm and plump. If you want to do something slightly more exotic with greens, here are four new ways to try All will.


For a deliciously unusual way with green (or runner and yellow, as here) beans, so they are soft and tender – not crunchy – slice 6 shallots into thin rings and sauté in 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil until wilted. Add 10 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps quartered, and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring twice. Add 300 g assorted beans, toss well to coat, then pour in 350 ml boiling water. Cover and cook over moderate heat until all the water has evaporated. Season well and serve. These are particularly good served with roast red meats and poultry stews.