Fassolia baida arrida—big, flat, white butter beans—are considered the fanciest beans. Every good garden must have at least one plant, which will grow fast and big, like a vine, and produce large, flat, tender green pods that hold the flat white jewel-like beans. When fresh, the beans need a minimum of cooking, on very low heat, to become a melting delicacy (often seasoned with garlic, lemon, and olive oil and served as part of a mezze table). When they are in dried form, they do not need soaking overnight, as the dried bean is flat, fragile, and easy to cook.
- 3 medium yellow onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 2 cups (500 g) dried white butter beans
- 1 bunch green coriander
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- Kamal Mouzawak
Finely chop the onions and the garlic. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic until lightly colored, about 10 minutes.
Peel the tomatoes if desired (blanch them in boiling water for a minute to loosen the skins), chop them, and add to the onions. Add the butter beans and enough water to cover them by a finger. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook until the beans are as soft as you prefer them to be. (How long this takes will depend on the age and specific variety of bean that you use, so keep tasting!)
Finely chop the coriander and add to the cooked beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, with white rice.