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Hot Vegetable Salad with Canellini Beans & Poppy Seeds

Having done mainly vegan January, we’re carrying on with the pulses as we loved them so much. Such versatility, loads of flavour and a great source of protein. Here’s today’s lunch rustled up with a tin of beans and some veggies.

It will feed 2 as a vegetarian/vegan lunch or 4 if you have it as a side with some grilled or roast meat. It’s a real store cupboard dish so you can make it at any time – just have a few tins of cooked beans in the cupboard and some veggies in the fridge and you can get a meal on the table in no time.

Hot Vegetable Salad with Canellini Beans & Poppy Seeds


1 x 400g tin of canellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

1 red onion

3tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic

2 handfuls fresh spinach leaves

Finely grated zest 1 lemon

1 level tbsp poppy seeds

Salt and pepper

What to do –

1. Cut the peppers in half and take out the seeds and pith. Slice the peppers into 1/2cm strips from top to bottom.

2. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.

3. Put the oil in a large wide pan and heat it up on the hob. Add the peppers, onion and garlic and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a sizzle, then turn the heat down, put a lid on the pan and leave the vegetables to braise very gently until they are tender but not coloured. This took about 15 minutes.

4. Add the spinach and the canellini beans and heat the beans through gently as the spinach wilts in the heat. Use a couple of wooden spoons to gently move everything around withouth bashing up the beans. When the spinach has wilted, gently stir through the lemon zest.  No lid needed for the pan at this point.

5. Pile the hot salad on a serving plate and sprinkle over the poppy seeds.

6. Serve at once.

Alternatives –

  • Instead of canellini beans, use butter beans, haricot beans, kidney beans or chickpeas.
  • Use different veggies and adjust the cooking time as necessary – try butternut squash, leeks, cavolo nero.
  • Add some fresh chilli if you’d like a little heat.
  • Put in 2tbsp chopped fresh parsley or coriander if you have any lurking in the fridge.
  • Use orange zest instead of lemon zest.
  • Use different seeds to add a bit of crunch – pumpkin, sunflower, nigella, sesame, whatever you have.