European French Healthy Eating Recipes Vegetarian

Butterbean and Leek Gratin

Since we started using dried pulses for cooking the tins of butterbeans and chickpeas that are stockpiled in our cupboards have been all but forgotten about. However, leaving them go to waste clearly is not an option, so I shall be trying my hardest over the next few weeks to make use of them. This is my own recipe, though it should be mentioned that the café at which I work has served up butterbean gratin on a number of occasions. Despite the fact that this wasn’t a tried and tested recipe it was absolutely delicious. The tomato sauce was deep and rich in flavour, the butterbeans were tender and the breadcrumbs were browned to perfection. If you are in search of a delicious, light and healthy meal, look no further.

Having been out of the kitchen for so long, culinary inspiration has become a little hard to find. This must be because over the past few weeks, cooking has been right at the back of my mind, so bringing it back to the forefront has proved a little difficult. For example, dreaming up this dish took rather longer than expected, whereas before, such a recipe would have taken only moments to formulate. Perhaps my gastronomic hiatus has affected my mind a little. Then again, one could say that I’ve always been a little affected. However, only time will tell. For now, I insist you all enjoy this fantastically rustic gratin.

Butterbean and Leek Gratin

Serves 3-4


• 400g tin of peeled plum tomatoes

• 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

• 1 large onion, finely chopped

• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

• 400g tin of butterbeans in water

• 1 large leek, sliced thickly into medallions

• 20g butter

• 150g brown or granary bread

• A handful of parmesan

• 2 tsp of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped

• Seasoning

• Oil


1. Fry the onions in a little oil until translucent. Add the garlic, followed by the tomatoes, salt pepper and balsamic vinegar. Cook for at least 30 minutes, allowing it to reduce slightly. Pre-heat the oven to 200C five minutes before the sauce is ready. Tip the tomatoes into an oven dish and mix in the butterbeans, make sure to rinse them first. Layer the slices of leek on top and put a small knob of butter atop each medallion. Pop it all in the oven for 10-15 minutes, allow the leeks plenty of time to cook through.

2. To make the breadcrumbs simply blitz the bread, parmesan and rosemary together in a food processor. Sprinkle this on top of the cooked leeks and grill until golden brown.

Cost: This really is a rustic and cheap dish, as one might expect. Indeed, the whole dish comes in at roughly £1.20. It’s in dishes like this that one can observe the benefits of using pulses for protein, rather than meat.

95 replies on “Butterbean and Leek Gratin”

I think this is beautiful! I understand feeling uninspired, I go through phases myself. I keep an ongoing list every time I have an idea. I’m probably up to 30 recipes (well, recipes in my head). That helps me get through dry spells.

Funny, I have some dried butterbeans and no canned ones! I shall have to soak my beans and then proceed 🙂

It looks really tasty, and should go well with the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving!

First thing I thought upon seeing it was that it’s such a great idea. Beans are an almost daily staple of my diet so I’m always on the lookout for interesting ways to prepare them. Hope you get your inspiration back soon, and in the meantime, just keep coming up with dishes like this one 🙂

Thanks. I’ve not bean able too eat many beans recently, due to the kitchen problems, but I can;t wait to get back to them. I’ve bean missing them.

(disclaimer: I spelt been incorrectly on purpose, just in case…)

Wow! This sounds like a very good recipe FF. Congratulations 😉
I think I’m going to give it a try with broad beans from “La Granja de San Ildefonso” because I can’t find the equivalent to the butterbeans in Spanish, but they look alike…
Thanks for sharing, have a very nice weekend!

Lovely and my favourite to date. We all experience the wax and wane of cooking. I tend to feel comfortable with old standbys as the season changes, and by mid-season am looking for inspiration.
Big like for this one

I’m not sure what butterbeans are? But this dish looks very unique, healthy and delicious all at once. I have the same problem with finding tins of things I need to use up… how did they get in my pantry in the first place?

Thank you for “liking” my blog post because it led me to your wonderful blog! My first thought was “finally!” — someone writing about eating well without spending a fortune in a way that emphasizes the “eating well, enjoyably and deliciously” rather than the “sticking to a tight budget” part of the equation. Well done!

No problem! I’m glad you like my blog. Thank you, finally someone who understand EXACTLY what I’m trying to do :D. Of course I could eat for 50p a meal, but I don’t want to. What I want to do is eat economically – which doesn’t necessarily mean cheaply, it means good value.

Hi, funny you made truffles last week (like I did just a couple of days ago), and I made something similar to this gratin just a week ago too. I’m yet to post about it. 🙂 Gratins make a cheap, but nourishing dish. I should make them more often!

Ooo… that looks good. And I tell you what as well, you have an amazing way of turning a phrase. My new phrase for the week is “gastronomic hiatus” and I’ll be damned if I can’t work it into conversation at least once or twice!

Oh this looks so wholesome and comforting! I feel like making some right now. I like butter beans; they are so versatile and would make for a great au gratin. So soft and velvety…I’ll bet this tasted really good!

After six months of diligent military-like strategy, I now have my fussy boyfriend eating leeks (and other things that are coloured green) and so made this dish for dinner last night and it was lovely! The fussy boy even ate all the leeks (he did comment that it would be improved with bacon but, to him, everything would be improved with the addition of bacon).

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