Beans have never been a staple in my diet. Canned beans can taste metallic and dry beans require too much advance notice to prepare. Truth be told, I think all the cold bean salad recipes floating out there had tarnished my desire for beans. However, time and time again I read how wonderful beans are for your health. They’re complex carbs that keep you full, lower your cholesterol, and are packed with protein. So I finally gave in and started to make beans. I came up with a recipe that is so good, that I’m excited to soak my beans in advance!
My recipe for Pan-Fried Zata’ar Navy Beans is so simple and insanely delicious. Zata’ar is a Middle Eastern spice commonly made up of dried herbs such as thyme, marjoram, and oregano, as well as toasted sesame seeds and sumac. I love the sour notes of sumac and it’s beautiful deep red colour. It can make any dish look and taste interesting, which is why I added a bit extra sumac alongside the zata’ar in this recipe. Sumac and zata’ar are available at Middle Eastern markets or if you’re lucky in the spice aisle of your grocery store.
- 1 cup dried navy beans
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 3 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp zata'ar
- 1 tsp sumac
- pinch of crushed red chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp sea salt plus extra for seasoning
- chopped mint for garnish
Soak beans for at least four hours or overnight.
Place beans in a large pot with 4 cups of water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 30 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, zata’ar, sumac, red chili flakes and salt. Set aside.
Heat a frying pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the beans and garlic. Fry for 4-6 minutes until hot and beginning to crisp.
Remove from heat and toss with dressing and season as necessary. Garnish with mint. Serve immediately.