Veggies on the counter

White Bean and Leek Cakes

Posted in main courses, Uncategorized by veggies on the counter on December 30, 2013

white bean cakes

You know the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. The same principle can be applied to food – there are dishes that don’t necessarily look good (like black bean soup or chilli, for instance) but do taste amazing.

On my laptop, there’s a folder with all the recipes from the blog, organized by categories. Inside that folder, there’s one titled “?” where I keep the recipes I’m not exactly sure if I should post up here.  More often than not, those recipes fit into the “ugly-but-oh-so-tasty” category that I mentioned above. There’s the tempeh and mushroom loaf, a version of greek baked beans, and a couple others. They were a nightmare to shoot and I always think they deserve a second chance (photography wise) but, for that to happen, I have to make them again.

The recipe I’m about to share was just an inch away from going into the “?” folder.  I took lots of pictures of it, from different angles and with different plates, but only managed to get two or three that I think are just ok. Part of the reason for that is because this is a recipe that has its roots on the british classic bubble and squeak, a dish well known for its lack of sexiness. In this version, white beans replace the potatoes for a kick of protein, and leeks are used instead of greens just because it was what I had around. The patties come together almost effortlessly and do deliver a lot on the tasting front. Don’t sweat trying to make them look perfectly shaped, though – this is meant to be a simple, uncomplicated dish, where the hearty and rustic flavours are all that matters.

leek comp

leeks

White Bean and Leek Cakes

(makes 4 to 6 patties, depending on the size)

2 large / 250 g leeks, white parts only

450 g cooked white beans (canned is fine)

3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 small bunch / 15 g parsley, finely chopped

salt and black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for seasoning the pan

Cut the leeks in half and wash the halves thoroughly to remove any dirt. Cut each half into thin half moons.

In a frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the leeks, garlic and parsley. Cook for 5 minutes or until the leeks are soft.

Transfer the leeks to a large bowl. Add the white beans and mash everything together with a potato masher (don’t overdo it and leave some parts just barely broken down for a bit of texture).  Season the mixture with a bit of salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.

Clean the pan in which you have cooked the leeks with kitchen paper towels. Add a generous glug of olive oil to the pan, making sure it covers its surface, and turn the heat on medium. Shape the white bean and leek mixture into patties and add them to the pan. Season each cake with a bit more salt and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown (I like mine almost on the verge of being burnt). Serve with pickled cucumber, mustard, fried capers or whatever you fancy.

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5 Responses

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  1. Ani said, on December 30, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Yum this looks delicious! I love the light onion flavor of leeks.

  2. coconutandberries said, on December 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Scrummy! And they look aesthetically pleasing to me. Then so does veg chili and black bean soup. Real food is beautiful food!

  3. sonalinsana said, on December 31, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    That looks amazing!

  4. veggies on the counter said, on January 3, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Thank you ladies. Wish you all a great new year! xo

  5. Sophie33 said, on November 15, 2014 at 9:11 am

    I made these tasty beauties & they were a huge success! Fabulous! x


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