Smoky Saffron Baked Beans with Greens and Halloumi

, from Issue #79. July, 2018
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Smoky Saffron Baked Beans with Greens and Halloumi

This vegetarian brunch dish is perfect for feeding a crowd. Stretch it even further with a good loaf of sourdough bread on the side.

Serves: 4–6


200 grams halloumi cheese
Baked beans
olive oil, to cook
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups vegetable stock
2 x 400-gram tins butter beans
400-gram tin cannellini beans
400-gram tin crushed tomatoes
2 x 400-gram tins cherry tomatoes
2 pinches saffron threads
¾ teaspoon hot smoked paprika
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or rosemary leaves
zest 1 lemon
100 grams baby spinach
sea salt and ground pepper
To serve
microgreens or roughly chopped fresh parsley
toasted pumpkin seeds


Baked beans: Heat a generous glug of oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery.

Cook gently for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent and tender. Add the fennel seeds and cumin. Sauté for 1 minute.

Add the stock, beans, tomatoes, saffron threads, paprika, thyme or rosemary leaves and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and then simmer over a low heat for 45 minutes. Stir often to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the baby spinach while hot, just before serving.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat. Cut the halloumi into slices lengthways. Cook for roughly 1 minute on each side until golden brown.

To serve: Serve each portion of beans with some halloumi on top. Garnish as desired. Serves 4–6.