Grilled cabbage with garlic butter and cannellini beans

Grilled cabbage with garlic butter and cannellini beans

Couve grelhada com feijão branco


We love our beans in Portugal – fresh ones from the garden, as well as all kinds of dried beans that came to our shores from the New World. I prefer to use dried beans that I’ve soaked myself, but there’s no problem with good-quality tinned beans. The creamy flavour and fluffy texture of these beans are lovely with the garlic butter and smoky grilled cabbage. Butter beans would also work well.


Quantity Ingredient
100g dried cannellini beans, (or 400g tinned cannellini beans)
A pinch bicarbonate of soda
3 banana shallots, 1 halved, 1 sliced and 1 diced
3 garlic cloves, 1 halved and 2 crushed
1 carrot, halved
1 celery stick, cut into chunks
1 bay leaf
30g butter
a small handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
1 large sweetheart cabbage
1 tablespoon olive oil
smoked paprika, to taste
sea salt flakes
ground white pepper


  1. If using dried beans, soak them overnight with the bicarbonate of soda in plenty of water. Rinse and place in a pan with the halved shallot, halved garlic clove, carrot, celery and bay leaf, and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, skimming off any foam, and simmer for 45 minutes–1 hour, or until tender (the cooking time will depend on the age of the beans). Remove from the heat and leave to cool in the cooking liquid. Season the cooking liquid while the beans cool.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat. Add the crushed garlic and sliced shallot and cook gently for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Drain the cooked or tinned beans. Mix them together with the diced shallot, parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste and season with salt, pepper and paprika.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage and cut it in half lengthways. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof griddle pan over a high heat. Add the cabbage, cut-side down, season with salt and pepper and roast for 3 minutes, or until caramelised. Turn it over and cook for 2 minutes on the other side. Add a splash of water, cover with kitchen foil and roast for 5 minutes. Baste the cabbage with the garlic butter and roast for another few minutes. Remove from the oven and squeeze over a little lemon juice. I like to warm the cannellini beans through gently in the pan with the cabbage and then bring the pan to the table to serve.
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