Haricot beans with Mediterranean seasonings Haricot beans with Mediterranean seasonings Israeli Kitchen Photo: Miriam Kresh

Haricot beans with Mediterranean seasonings

This dish features navy beans, seasoned with sunshine herbs and a juicy red tomato.

  • Total time: 8 hours
  • Yield: Serves 6 generously
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours

A pot of beans is a thing of beauty. Tiny black turtle beans that spill a juice like blue ink when they’re cooking. Big, floury white butter beans. Meaty, dark-red kidney beans. All the spotted and striped beans are there. They’re all good, nutritious enough to fill a major part in vegetarian and vegan diets. Not to mention delicious at any time of the year.

Here’s a pot of haricots, also known as navy beans, seasoned with sunshine herbs and a juicy red tomato. I sometimes serve this vegetarian stew over rice, but more often, I like it by itself in a soup bowl, with good bread and butter on the side.

There was plenty to start with. But what with the Little One and her ravenous friends and two out-of-town guests, the beans are disappearing fast.


  • 1 pound dried haricot beans
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, unpeeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne flakes, to taste
  • 4 large sage leaves
  • 1 sprig of rosemary about 3″ long
  • Water to cover and then some more, for soaking
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • A small handful of chives, finely chopped


Soak the beans in plenty of water, overnight or at least 6 hours.

Drain them and put them in a pot with fresh water to cover by about two inches, a splash of olive oil, the bay leaf and an unpeeled garlic clove.

Bring to a boil, lower the flame and simmer, covered – for 1 1/2 hours. The beans should be tender before you add the seasonings.

In a separate pan, sauté the onions in olive oil until soft. Add the tomato, bell pepper. Cook a few minutes, until the pepper softens, then add garlic.

Add the sage, rosemary, cayenne, black pepper and salt to taste. Stir everything up and cook 5 minutes over a low flame.

Pour the vegetable/herb mixture into the bean pot. Stir, noting if the beans have enough liquid. If it looks like they’re getting dry, add water, a little at a time. Cook the beans and seasoning 1/2 hour, stirring once in a while.

The beans are now ready. Sprinkle some chopped chives into the pan before serving.

They get even better over the next couple of days.

Note: You can substitute big, floury Great Northern beans. Add more cooking water if needed.

Related Topics: Mediterranean, Vegetarian

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