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The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen’s Green Cannellini and Tahini

by The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Team from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love

As seen on Saturday Kitchen, this herby and zesty cannellini bean dish is packed with core Ottolenghi ingredients, from za'atar to tahini, and also happens to be vegan.

From the book

Yotam Ottolenghi, Noor Murad


Variations of warm beans served with tahini are popular throughout the Arab world, with dishes such as chickpea fatteh and ful mudammas with tahini at the forefront. Such dishes are typically eaten warm for breakfast, and are a sure way to keep you full until dinner. They’re the inspiration for these herby cannellini beans, which can easily be served at any mealtime.

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1 round white or brown pita (100g), pocket opened up, then roughly torn into 2–3cm pieces
1 tbsp za’atar
75ml olive oil
3 tins of cannellini beans (1.2kg), drained (720g)
30g parsley, roughly chopped
30g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
30g chives, roughly chopped
1¼ tsp cumin seeds, toasted and roughly crushed with a pestle and mortar
1 garlic clove, crushed
2½ tbsp lemon juice
salt and black pepper
For the tahini sauce:
80g tahini
1½ tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
For the chilli oil:
2½ tbsp olive oil
½ tsp chilli flakes
¼ tsp paprika

Essential kit

You will need: a food processor.


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan. Toss the pita with the za’atar, 2 tablespoons of oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and spread out on a medium, parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for 12 minutes, tossing halfway, or until golden and crispy. Set aside to cool.

2. Set aside 100g of the beans in a medium bowl. Put the remaining beans, 600ml of water and 1 teaspoon of salt into a medium saucepan on a medium high heat. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, or until the beans are nicely softened and warmed through. Keep warm on a low heat until ready to serve.

3. Make the tahini sauce by whisking together all the ingredients with 70ml of water and ¼ teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl, until smooth and pourable. It will thicken as it sits.

4. Make the chilli oil by putting the oil and chilli flakes into a small frying pan and placing it on a medium heat. Cook for 4 minutes, then add the paprika and remove the pan from the heat. Set aside.

5. Put the reserved 100g of beans into a food processor, along with the herbs, cumin, garlic, lemon juice, the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, ⅛ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Blitz until smooth, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.

6. Drain the warm beans in a sieve set over a bowl, then add them and 100ml of their cooking liquid to the herb mixture, mixing well to combine. You want the beans to be well coated and for the whole mixture to be saucy (but not overly wet), so add a couple of tablespoons more of the cooking liquid if you wish (discarding the remainder).

7. Transfer to a large, lipped platter and drizzle over half the tahini sauce and all the chilli oil. Sprinkle with half the pita and serve warm, with the extra tahini and pita alongside.

Make it your own:

– Play with your beans – we love this with chickpeas too.

– Play with your herbs – use what you have on hand.

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From the book: Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love

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