Bean pates

BEAN PÂTÉS
If dry bean seeds are collected at the end of the season, they can be stored for winter use. As well as all the other recipes ideas given here, beans can also be used to as a base for tasty and interesting patés, spreads and dips. They provide colour and texture, and blend easily with a whole variety of different flavourings. They are best made a day in advance to allow the flavours to develop. Here are 5 paté ideas.

BEAN AND ALMOND PÂTÉ
175g or 6oz butter beans or any pale-coloured beans, soaked overnight
50g or 2oz ground almonds
1 tablespoon natural yoghurt
2 tsp sunflower oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper

Drain the beans and rinse well. Place in a pan and cover with plenty of fresh water. Bring to the boil and boil fiercely for 10 minutes, then simmer for 40 minutes or until soft. Drain well and puree. Mash in the remaining ingredients and leave to cool. Serves 4-6.

COUNTRY BEAN PÂTÉ
175g or 6oz red or dark beans, soaked overnight
2 tablespoons tomato purée
2 tablespoons soya sauce or shoyu
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
50g or 2oz fresh wholewheat breadcrumbs
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp paprika
1 clove garlic, crushed

Drain the beans and rinse well. Place in a pan and cover with plenty of fresh water. Bring to the boil and boil fiercely for 10 minutes, then simmer for 40 minutes or until soft. Drain well and purée. Mash in the remaining ingredients and leave to cool. Serves 4-6.

CREAMED BEAN PÂTÉ
175g or 6oz butter beans or any pale-coloured beans, soaked overnight
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, chives or parsley
salt and pepper

Drain the beans and rinse well. Place in a pan and cover with plenty of fresh water. Bring to the boil and boil fiercely for 10 minutes, then simmer for 40 minutes or until soft. Drain well and purée. Mash in the remaining ingredients and leave to cool. Serves 4-6.

MUSHROOM AND BEAN PÂTÉ
450g or 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons vegetable stock, and 2 tablespoons dry white wine
400g or 14oz cooked red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 egg, beaten
50g or 2oz fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To garnish – lettuce and tomatoes

Pre-heat oven to 180 C/350 F/ gas mark 4. Lightly grease and line a non-stick 900g/2 lb loaf tin. Put the mushrooms, onion, garlic, red pepper, stock and wine in a saucepan. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Set aside to cool slightly, then puree the mixture with the kidney beans in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the egg, breadcrumbs and herbs and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until lightly set and browned on top. Place on a wire rack and allow the paté to cool completely in the tin. Once cool, cover and refrigerate for several hours. Turn out of the tin and serve in slices, garnished with lettuce and tomato.

PIQUANT BEAN PÂTÉ
175g or 6oz red or dark-coloured beans, soaked overnight
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine
1 tsp French mustard
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 clove garlic, crushed

Drain the beans and rinse well. Place in a pan and cover with plenty of fresh water. Bring to the boil and boil fiercely for 10 minutes, simmer for 40 minutes or until soft. Drain well and purée. Mash in the remaining ingredients and leave to cool. Serves 4-6.

SPICED BEAN PÂTÉ
110g or 4oz any brown beans, soaked overnight
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 spring onions, trimmed and very finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon tomato purée
15g or ½ oz fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper

Drain the beans and rinse well. Place in a pan and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil and boil fiercely for 10 minutes, then cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or unil soft. Drain and mash well.
Toast the sesame and cumin seeds together in a frying pan or under the grill for 3-4 minutes. Grind finely in a mortar and pestle. Mix the beans, seeds and remaining ingredients together, stirring thoroughly.
Leave the paté to stand for several hours or overnight. Adjust the seasoning to taste before serving. Serves 4-6.