Fermentation is a great way to deal with a glut of veg or fruit and is actually very simple; it just takes a little planning. If you start this recipe four days ahead, you’ll get the maximum flavour from the fermented tomatoes.
Borlotti Beans, fermented tomato, basil & chickpeas
250g podded fresh borlotti beans
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 4
1 celery stick, top removed, cut into 4
1 bay leaf
¼ bunch of thyme
1 tsp smoked paprika
100g non-dairy cream cheese
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 bunch of basil, leaves picked and stalks retained200g cooked chickpeas, roughly chopped
½ quantity of hummus* (½ tub shop-bought)
2 tbsp olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil, to garnish
* For homemade hummus:
240g tinned chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 garlic clove
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
25ml olive oil
½ tsp agave syrup
½ tsp table salt
Freshly milled black pepper
For the fermented tomatoes:
1 tsp table salt
50ml rice wine vinegar
50ml balsamic vinegar
1 tsp agave syrup
1 tbsp tomato purée
6 seasonal ripe tomatoes
1 Start by fermenting the tomatoes. Mix all ingredients together, apart from the tomatoes, and add the basil stalks. Add 100ml of cold water.
2 Prick the tomatoes all over with a skewer, then place in a container or jar and cover with the liquid. Loosely cover and leave in a slightly warm, dark place for a minimum of 4 days.
3 Place the beans, carrot, celery, bay leaf and thyme into a medium saucepan. Cover with water, then place on a high heat. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 25–40 mins until soft (cooking time may vary depending on freshness).
4 Strain off the liquid from the pan, removing the carrot, celery and herbs.
5 Place the smoked paprika, cream cheese and tomato purée into a bowl. Whisk well. Place in a pan with the cooked borlotti beans and heat through.
6 To make the hummus, blitz all the ingredients in a food processor until a smooth paste, adding 20–30ml water if needed. (Remember, you’ll only need to use half of this quantity for the finished dish.)
7 To assemble, chop the basil leaves, reserving a few for garnish, and mix with the chickpeas, hummus and olive oil, seasoning well. Place the hummus around the edge of the serving plate, then place the beans on top. Peel the skin from the tomatoes (it will come off very easily after the fermentation) and slice each in half. Arrange on top, drizzling over a little of the fermenting liquor. Garnish with the reserved basil leaves and olive oil, then serve.
Recipe from Planted by Chantelle Nicholson (Kyle Books).