Butter Bean Bake

This recipe is another from the antique collection, as our more antique customers will recognise. This one really does need a proper béchamel sauce as an ingredient to be truly mouth watering, so take your time with the sauce, it’s worth the effort.


14oz Tin Butter Beans or 7oz Dried Butter Beans
1 Bay Leaf
1 Medium Onion
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1½lb Carrots
1 Medium Cauliflower
2 Tablespoons Shoyu

Béchamel Sauce
1½ Pints Milk or soya milk
1 Small Onion
1 Teaspoon Thyme
Pinch Nutmeg
2oz Margarine
3oz Flour
1 Dessertspoon Fresh Parsley

6oz Bread crumbs
100ml Olive Oil
2oz Grated Scheese – Vegan cheese substitute


  1. If using dried beans, these need to be soaked overnight, rinsed and then boiled in fresh water for about 40 minutes with the bay leaf until soft. If you use a can rinse the contents and drain before using and include the bay leaf in the ingredients for the sauce, see later.
  2. Whilst the beans are cooking peel and finely dice the medium onion and sauté in a teaspoon of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Once soft remove from the heat and keep to one side.
  3. Peel and chop the carrots into sticks, or, if you have a food processor julienne them. Bring some water to the boil in a medium sized pan, put in the carrot and boil until partly cooked before draining, reserving the water.
  4. Break the cauliflower up into florets, wash and drain then boil in the carrot water, being careful not to overcook – the florets should remain firm. Once cooked drain and reserve.
  5. To make the Béchamel Sauce first pour the milk into a pan with the peeled, small onion, seasoning, and herbs. Place on a medium heat and allow to come to the boil before setting aside.
  6. Melt the margarine in a thick bottomed pan and gradually add the flour, stirring it into the margarine to form a roux. Once all the flour has been added, cook the roux for a few minutes, stirring it all the time.
  7. Strain the soya milk to remove the onion, and gradually add the milk to the roux, stirring constantly to avoid the formation of lumps. Allow the sauce to come to the boil, reduce the heat and then simmer for a few minutes to thicken it.
  8. Grate the cheese and mix with the bread crumbs and 100ml of olive oil to make the topping.
  9. Drain the beans and mix with the sautéed onion, shoyu and salt (to taste), before placing in the bottom of an oven proof dish.
  10. Layer on the cooked carrots and then the cauliflower, then pour the sauce over the top finally sprinkling on the topping.
  11. Bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes at gas mark 5, 190°C, 375°F.
  12. Obviously to make a vegan version use the vegan ingredients, it is just as good either way. We hope you liked the French references creeping in to the text, it’s good to get a bit of posing in every now and again to impress your friends.

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