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A few months ago when posting the previous Basics Series recipe, I spoke about Miss L’s fondness for tray bakes. This is another one, and one of several recipes she’s made that come from the lovely Ruby Tandoh, who often comes up with dishes with really interesting flavour combinations like this one.

Like the cherry tomato and feta pasta, you start with roasting cherry tomatoes, but the flavour profile is otherwise completely different, with the nigella seeds, chilli, and coconut milk creating a wonderful spiced base for the beans and tomatoes. If you’re not familiar with nigella seeds, they’re the black seeds often found on Turkish bread, and add an unusual and wonderfully aromatic edge to the dish. If you can’t find them, Ruby suggests mustard or cumin seeds as an alternative, which would be different, but still delicious.

While the cooking time is relatively long, it’s all in one dish, and is almost completely hands off. Apart from the cherry tomatoes, the ingredients are all tinned or pantry, so it’s an easy one to whip up if you haven’t got a lot of fresh ingredients. We serve with jasmine rice, and fresh coriander if you have it, but after mentioning the Turkish bread above, I think it would also be rather wonderful served with that as an alternative. If all that wasn’t enough, it reheats and freezes well, so if you have a bit of time, but not much in the cupboard – give it a try!

Baked tomato and coconut butter beans

Adapted from Ruby Tandoh’s Cook as You Are

  • 500g cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large or 4 small cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 Tbs rice bran or coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 x 400g tins butter beans
  • 1 x 400g tin tomatoes
  • 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
  • fresh coriander to garnish

Preheat oven to 180C (with fan). Add tomatoes, salt, unpeeled garlic and nigella seeds to a large baking dish. Drizzle over oil and toss to coat. Bake for 30 minutes until tomatoes are starting to blister, and garlic is soft.

Squeeze garlic from skins back into dish. Add drained beans, tinned tomatoes, coconut milk, and chilli flakes if using, and stir to combine. Bake for another 30 minutes until bubbling and combined into a thick sauce. Stir again, and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with jasmine rice, and topped with chopped fresh coriander.

Serves 4 generously