One of my earliest ideas for the menu at La Buvette came from opening a can of cooked judion beans—giant white beans imported from Spain—and seasoning them with a bit of olive oil, Maldon salt, and bergamot zest. I never anticipated that these beans would turn into something that people would come from all over the planet to eat. The key to this very simple dish is the fresh citrus grated on top, which brightens up the flavor of the beans. I change the citrus from bergamot to mandarin to lemon or citron –whatever looks most appealing for the season. In the spring when foraging season begins, I sometimes decorate the beans with edible flowers, such as chive flowers or garlic flowers. But I don’t change much else, and I can never take them off the menu (I tried once and everyone kept asking, “Where are the beans?”) Today, I suppose that gros harivots blancs & zeste de citron have become La Buvette’s “famous” beans, but I say it with a wink—can beans from a can truly famous?
Spoon the beans into a bowl or plate. Drizzle with olive oil until the beans look shiny, Add a good pinch of salt and grate zest directly over the top to finish.
La Buvette: Recipes and Wine Notes from Paris by Camille Fourmont Kate Leahy is available now.
“FAMOUS” GIANT BEANS AND CITRUS
- 1 14-to 15-ounce can or jar high-quality giant white beans, rinsed well and drained*
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for seasoning
- 1 lemon or other type of citrus fruit, for grating
- Spoon the beans into a bowl or plate. Drizzle with olive oil until the beans look shiny. Add a good pinch of salt and grate zest directly over the top to finish.
Reprinted from La Buvette. Copyright © 2020 by Camille Fourmont and Kate Leahy. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Marcus Nilsson. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House.