A warm salad of butter beans with sorrel

For many years I’ve despised sorrel (a kind of love child between greens and herbs) as I once grew some which was so sour I had to spit it out!

After the interview with Judith Hann though, I was inspired to give it another go and now I am an enthusiastic convert.

In the interview Judith makes a number of suggestions for things to do with sorrel, and on further investigation I discovered that Ottolenghi is also a sorrel fan. This recipe is based on one in his book, Plenty.

The bright, lemony sorrel cuts a bright tune through the soft, mushy base notes of the beans and the salty feta.

If you can’t find sorrel, use spinach and add a bit more lemon juice.

For a recipe for Smoking Gentle Giant Beans with Cheese and Spinach, follow this link.

Recipe for a warm salad of butter beans with sorrel

Serves 2 with ham for lunch


  • 1 x tin butter beans, drained weight 235g/8 oz
  • 50g butter
  • 8 spring onions
  • 1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 100g/4 oz sorrel
  • 1½ tbsps. lemon juice
  • 60 ml/¼ cup/4 tbsps olive oil
  • 200g/7 oz feta
  • 2 tsps sumac
  • pinch of Urfa pepper flakes, or some freshly ground black pepper
  • small bunch of soft herbs, such as chervil or dill


  1. Drain the butter beans and add to a large frying pan.
  2. Add the butter, and fry gently.
  3. Add the garlic, snip in the spring onions, the sumac, and the Urfa pepper flakes or pepper.
  4. Roughly cut over the sorrel. Mix. Take off the heat.
  5. Add the oil and lemon juice, mix again.
  6. Serve (you may want to transfer to a pretty bowl) with the soft herbs snipped over the top.
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