Sage, garlic and white wine butter beans

Courtesy of Barry Mulady

Serves 4-6 and keeps well in the fridge.  Takes about an hour.

  • 150ml rapeseed or light olive oil

  • 4 onions, peeled and finely sliced

  • garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced

  • Large handful of sage leaves, picked but keep the stalks

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3 x 400g tins of butter beans

  • 500ml white wine

  • Grated zest of 2 lemons


  1. Heat the oil in a deep wide pan and stir in the onions, garlic, sage leaves and their woody stalks and the bay leaves. Gently sweat for 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally.  You want the onion and garlic to be golden in colour; if they stick add a splash of water.

  2. Add the beans including the juice from the tins, crushing a handful to thicken the sauce.

  3. Add the wine, a good pinch of salt and enough water to cover (if the wine doesn’t cover).  Bring to a rapid boil then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes.

  4. Add the lemon zest and check for seasoning – it might need a splash of lemon juice and/or more salt.

  5. Remove the sage stalks and bay leaves and crush a few more beans if it need to be thickened.  Add a swirl of oil to finish.

Serve with toasted sourdough bread as a snack/starter or with sausages, lamb chops or anything, really.  This recipe sounds bland but is actually delicious.  Reheats well and is possibly better after a night in the fridge