Sumac butter beans with feta and rocket for a hot hot hot day

I had been thinking that my first recipe blog would be about something sweet and cakey I had baked, because that’s what I had always imagined this blog would be about. But sometimes you just have to improvise. You see, we are in the middle of a heat wave and this makes baking and cooking in general out of the question, unless you live somewhere with industrial air conditioning, which I do not. 

Now one day of 40°C might mean you get take away or go to the mall or have microwaved left-overs of some sort for dinner, but five days in a row of 37°C and above means some careful planning for meals for the week. Maybe it was my panic over the impending heat wave that made my mind go blank, but I found myself standing in front of my pantry looking for anything that would mean no oven and minimal stove top time. To my surprise, with a little improvisation, I had everything for this 15 minute meal.

Due credit to David Lebovitz for this inspiration. Find his post here. I love his recipes and this one he adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi, who’s original recipe I have not seen, so I have no idea how far I have strayed from his concept with this. All I can say is that I love this combination of buttery beans, feta and sumac, made all tangy and fresh with lemon and rocket. David’s blog has wonderful pictures that step you through the recipe.

For the purists, the original recipe calls for dried beans and sorrel, neither of which I had and a heap more butter and oil, which I reduced to make it a bit healthier.


Fried Beans with Feta, Rocket, and Sumac


  • 450 g can white beans / butter beans
  • 2 spring onions, sliced lengthwise into 7 cm batons
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced (I used a dob of fresh-frozen minced garlic)
  • 100 g rocket (or a good sized handful)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 75 g feta
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 2 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 20 g butter


Heat olive oil and butter on a medium heat in a pan big enough to take the beans in a single layer (or do in batches). Once hot, add the beans and allow them to cook for a few minutes until they brown and blister. Stir them a little and continue cooking until all sides are seared (try to avoid mushing them).

During the final minute of cooking (or for the final batch), add the spring onions, garlic, and rocket and continue cooking for a minute or so until the greens are just wilted.

Remove from heat, stir through the salt and allow to cool to room temperature (or warm if you are hungry and can’t wait that long).

Once cooled, sprinkle over the lemon juice, sumac and parsley and give it a good mix. Finally, crumble the feta over the top and serve.


3 thoughts on “Sumac butter beans with feta and rocket for a hot hot hot day

  1. Hilda

    This recipe is more interesting to me than any baked goods every can be. I love Ottolenghi’s recipes too. I have been using sumac foraged from my garden, and am always looking for new ways to use it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s