Piedmont beans


Its late August and the garden is in overdrive !  We are now on our 8th continuous week of eating green (or purple 😉 ) beans numerous times per week…  I usually make this recipe at least once in the season when I want to “get rid” of loads of beans in one meal.

Its an interesting recipe as it seems a bit odd, on the verge of “will this work?”.  The ratio of beans to the other ingredients just doesn’t seem right.  Trust me as I trusted the original recipe, it does work.


I’ve adapted this Italian inspired recipe to suit my tastes and the ingredients I can get here in France so play around with it, its a forgiving recipe.  I used a beautiful ground red pepper produced in the Basque Country called “Espelette Pepper”, that I’m quite addicted to which adds a bit more depth and a bit of heat.  The cheese was a local Brebis or sheeps cheese but any flavourful cheese will work.


We had this for lunch as a main course with loads of freshly picked tomatoes on the side and sliced melon as a starter.  As you can see by the half eaten dish, it went down well with the whole family 🙂


Piedmont beans

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 900g green (French) beans, trimmed
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper or a mildish red pepper powder such as Espelette pepper
  • 30g butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 70g cheese (I use a hardish sheeps cheese)

To finish:

  • freshly grated parmesan or pecorino
  • fresh breadcrumbs

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F and butter an ovenproof serving dish (I use a square pyrex type glass dish).

Cook the beans in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes until just tender.  Drain well and chop finely using a food processor or by hand.  Place the beans in a large mixing bowl.

Melt the butter with a splash of olive oil and when nice and hot add the onion and garlic and cook until just soft without browning.  Add to the beans.

Separate the egg and mix the yolk with the grated cheese and add to the bean mixture.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Whisk the egg white until stiff, then fold into the beans.

Turn the mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle with the extra cheese and fresh breadcrumbs.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes

adapted from Leiths Vegetarian Bible

Bon appetît !


3 thoughts on “Piedmont beans

  1. Just bought a whole load of long beans from the Abbey yesterday – must try and give this a try. If you have a glut of beans (lucky you!) you can try and ferment them (often known as dilly beans) or pickle them in vinegar. Alternatively freeze them – it’s what I do at this time of year when they are really cheap. Frozen they retain their original flavour and nutrients even during the long winter months. Last but not least, if you want you can cook them and bottle them though that involves a lot of work.

    1. Thanks for those tips Kathleen. I have canned them, but didn’t love the results…. We eat the pickled version in Canada sometimes as “garnish” on the Canadian version of a Bloody Mary, called a Ceasar 😉

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