Fallow Restaurant London

Beans on Toast

Sure, you can empty and can of beans on to some toast. But why do that when you can soak beans for 12 hours and make it like a chef?

Overhead shot of homemade beans on toast on a white plate  and wooden board

Beans on Toast

  • Author: Fallow
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes


Units Scale
  • 200g dried cannellini (or haricot) beans
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 shallots – finely chop two of them
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tins San Marzano tomatoes
  • Bunch basil
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • Sea salt

To finish

  • More olive oil
  • Lincolnshire poacher (or other hard, mature cheese)
  • Slices of toast


  1. Start the night before by soaking the beans in a large container with LOTS of water (leave plenty of room for the beans to expand) and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (this will heal to soften the beans and help them cook evenly).
  2. Drain the beans and put into a large pan (again, lots of room for expansion) with cold water to cover and then some. Peel and halve one of the shallots and two of the garlic cloves and add to the pot along with the rosemary. These will be easier to pick out later if you tie the, in some muslin before adding to the beans.
  3. Bring to the boil, removing any scum that comes to the surface then cover the beans and turn the heat right down and allow to simmer very gently for about an hour.
  4. To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a heavy pan, add the chopped shallots and the other two cloves of garlic, finely sliced, and soften gently without colouring.
  5. Add the tinned tomatoes and bunch of basil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Remove the basil, stir in the sugar, tomato purée and add some salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Now tip the sauce into an ice bath to cool. This helps retain the bright red colour.
  8. Once cool, blend the sauce til smooth.
  9. Back to the beans, after an hour, taste a bean to see if it is soft. If you are happy with it, drain and remove the aromatics, otherwise try again after another 15 minutes.
  10. When the beans are ready, reheat the tomato sauce, stir in the cooked beans, check the seasoning again and serve on hot, buttered toast with a good grating of your chose cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

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