White Beans with Courgette & Herbs

White beans delicately flavoured with curry powder and fennel are complemented by crisp ribbons of courgette. 
Don’t be discouraged: If you’ve had problems digesting beans in the past, then probably they weren’t soaked or cooked long enough. Prepared correctly, they are very tasty and very nutritious.

Serves 4–6

450 g butter beans, soaked
1 litre water
25 g butter or margarine
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 large fennel head, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper
1 courgette
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1) Drain the beans, place in a pan and cover with the water. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1–1½ hours, until tender. You can also used canned beans but these may possibly give you some gas.

2) Heat half of the butter or margarine in a large pan, stir in the curry powder and then sauté the fennel over a medium heat until it is translucent. Drain the beans and add them. Cover and cook over a very low heat for 10 minutes. Season the beans with the olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, and place in a serving dish.

3) Cut the courgette lengthwise into long ribbons. Heat the remaining butter or margarine in a frying pan, add the courgette ribbons, chopped parsley and dill and sauté gently over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until some of the courgette ribbons are lightly touched with brown. They should have softened slightly but still keep some of their 'bite' – take care not to break them. Use to garnish the beans and serve immediately.