Recipe/ Sides/ Vegetarian

English Lunch: Beans on Toast

Hello my little munchkin butts!
How was your weekend? Busy? Lazy? A little bit of both? I always like a little bit of both – living in the fuzzy grey areas of life is a good thing.
This weekend I managed to make it to a massive farmer’s market (come back Wednesday to see how that fiasco turned out), watch some of season 2 of The Walking Dead, finish reading The Ethical Slut, did a little bit of cooking for next week’s posts, and even squeezed in a 2.5 hour nap on Saturday.
I love napping! It’s also one of those fuzzy grey areas. It’s daytime yet you’re snuggled in bed with a good book, a hot water bottle and the comfiest socks you own. Actually, I don’t nap in socks. I hate socks. But I do snuggle right under the covers as deep as I can get and I sprawl baby. Total starfish. And I sleep until I’m good and ready to get up. I’m a pro-napper my friends and even though you’re supposed to be active and productive during the day, I take pride in the fact that I mandate nap time in my free time. It’s something I love and why shouldn’t we do what we love? We should, damn it! Nap on, my lovelies, nap on!
Speaking of things we love, I’ve recently noticed that all the little curb-side markets in my neighborhood are selling these beautiful white and pinkish-red colored beans. I was like, what the crap ARE those? They’re beautiful! Then I accidentally stumbled upon a blog featuring them – Borlotti beans. Luckily said blogger didn’t know what they were either so we learned together.
Having witnessed the greatness of fresh, seasonal fava beans, I just had to know: were borlotti beans just as spectacular? I. had. to. know.
Thence (is that a word?) I immediately ran out to the little market on the corner, grabbed myself a couple pounds and made my way back to make above mentioned blogger’s bean recipe. Well, sort of. I modified it some, adding some things, subtracting others and I came up with something very reminiscent of one of my favorite dishes back in Victoria.
And the beans? They were creamy, beautiful, and while fava beans are still what gets me quivering, borlotti beans were friggin excellent. 

Beans on Toast

Yield 4 servings


  • 2 Lb Fresh Borlotti Beans.
  • 1/2 Onion, peeled and chopped.
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves, peeled + 1 Clove peeled and cut in half.
  • 1 Celery Rib, chopped.
  • 1 Large Potato (or 5 or 6 baby new potatoes), chopped.
  • Handful of Fresh Herbs including rosemary and thyme.
  • 1 Bay Leaf.
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Chili Flakes.
  • 1/3 C Tomato Sauce or 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste.
  • 1 Tbsp Real Maple Syrup.
  • 1 Tbsp Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Coarse Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
  • 4 Large or 8 Smaller Pieces of Sourdough bread.
  • 2 Pieces of Cooked Bacon, chopped (optional).


  • 1 Avocado, sliced.
  • 1 C Diced Cherry Tomatoes.
  • Small Handful of Fresh Parsley, roughly chopped.
  • Handful of your favorite cheese, grated.


  1. Begin by shelling the beans and discarding the casings. Discard any miniscule dried up ones that might appear. Throw the good beans into a large stock pot. Add the potato, celery, herbs, chili flakes, onion and garlic. Top with water to cover by 2".
  2. Bring to a boil and cook for 30-45 minutes or until beans are tender but still holding their shape. Drain, reserving the liquid.
  3. As the beans cook, prepare the toasts. Bring your broiler to high heat. Place the bread under the broiler to toast. Once it's nice, golden and crisp, add the shredded cheese and melt under the broiler again. Remove from heat. Set aside.
  4. Once the beans are ready, pick out the herb stems and bay leaf - discard. Pull out potatoes and garlic and mash.
  5. Heat your stock pot over medium heat. Add a good glug of olive oil and the tomato sauce/paste, and allow to heat through. Throw the cooked beans back in the pot and pour the cooking liquid in after them until it covers the beans by about half. Add the mashed potato mixture, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup - stir well. Bring the beans to a simmer and allow the flavors to blend for 7-10 minutes.
  6. Spoon the beans over toast, and finish with the diced tomatoes, sliced avocado and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Eat.



  • Madeline Grace
    October 1, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    This looks absolutely delish! I will have to see if I can find some Borlotti Beans and make this dish!

    Also, you do naps much better then I do! No matter how much I try I can never seem to fall asleep during the day!

    -Madeline Grace

    • Kristy Lynn
      October 6, 2012 at 11:59 AM

      the key is to make it very dark and get snuggley. even if you think “i may not sleep” and just lay there – it’s still a nap. just not so deep of one. sometimes it’s good just to be still.

  • Lauren @ Gourmet Veggie Mama
    October 1, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Oh, yum! I love borlotti beans. I can’t seem to find them here, fresh OR dried, though, so that’s sad. Maybe I just need to get a little more creative. I’ve been using anasazi beans instead, and they serve. I like to cook them up and serve them over some brown rice with whatever veggies we have around and a little cheese, sour cream, and salsa.

    Naps… oh yes. Love them. I took one yesterday, and it was lovely. That’s the nice thing about having a toddler around — sometimes when she naps, I do too!

    • Kristy Lynn
      October 6, 2012 at 12:00 PM


      what are anasazi beans??

  • kirsten
    October 2, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Your photos are gorgeous. I’m drooling just looking at them. Somehow, my family always expects to eat when the light is not great for photos. I can’t imagine why. Still working on how to prepare food when I can take a good photo yet feed them during more conventional hours. Beans? I could give it a try if some appeared in my box.

    • Kristy Lynn
      October 6, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      LOL! thank you kirsten!

      i usually make enough food so i have a serving the next day for pictures. especially in Winter because the light is gone at 4….and i refuse to eat dinner at 3.

  • shutupandcook
    October 3, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    These beans are like a little bit of fashion inspiration in each bite…love the pink and white…YUM!!

    • Kristy Lynn
      October 6, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      hahahaha – i’ll take it! thank you 🙂

  • France@beyondthepeel
    October 5, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    That sounds wonderful Kristy. I just love beans on toast, I’m not english but I’m a frenchy who grew up on baked cassoulet style beans. I love this version.

    • Kristy Lynn
      October 6, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      ooooh also very good. i think i just thought of beans on toast because my boyfriend is English and he always jokes that we should have “beans on toast”… i showed him!