flageolet bean stew with dill and eggs (down memory lane to my grandma’s pantry)

for some reason i don’t quite understand, i find it hard to resist buying dry {oh-so-beautiful-shade-of-greenish-gray} flageolet beans even when i already have some (substantial amounts). this might be because they are not commonly found in most grocery stores, or because i’m my grandma’s grand daughter, and this type of (dare i say it) food “hoarding” comes naturally to me. when i was growing up, one of my favorite things was to visit my grandma’s special (locked) pantry (where she stored all kinds of edible goodies). as you can imagine, this was somewhat of a privilege, and you had to jump through some major hoops to earn it. if you were really good at a friday family gathering (and allowed her and my grandpa to enjoy their afternoon siesta without making too much noise), you might earn a visit to the pantry to pick out a treat. i vividly remember the smell that hit you as soon as she unlocked the door and cracked it open. it was the sweet smell of chocolates, nougats, and candies mingled with spices like cardamom, ginger, and saffron (all of which to this day remind me of her), hints of bergamot tea, and dried fruits and herbs. many of these items were often bought or dried for her at the source if at all possible (she was so particular about the quality of her ingredients). standing in the doorway, she would look down at you with a half smile as you quickly made your choice. did my cousins and i try to find the key and spend hours plotting other ways to break in? you better believe it! even though we were never successful, i am often so nostalgic for those childhood days. getting back to my favorite beans-flageolets are so delicately delicious that they will enhance any dish you add them to. here they are the stars of a fresh, satisfying, and {beyond} delicious stew with plenty of fresh dill and a few sunny organic eggs. bon appetit!


ingredients for 4-6 servings:

  • 1 cup dry flageolet beans, soaked for 6-8 hours
  • 1 onion, finely minced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbs turmeric
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes (for spicy)
  • 1 large bunch of fresh dill (1/2 cup at least), finely chopped
  • 1.5 to 2 cups of good chicken broth (optional-substitute water for vegetarian)
  • 4 organic eggs
1. after soaking the beans for 6 hours, cook them in 4-5 cups of water on a slow simmer for at least an hour (until tender)
2. in a dutch oven (or similar) heat the olive oil and add the onions. fry the onions for about 3-5 minutes until golden brown before adding the garlic and turmeric and cooking for an additional 3 minutes.

3. add the cooked beans to the pot with 1.5 to 2 cups of water or broth, sea salt and pepper, and the optional red pepper flakes, then allow them to simmer for about 30 minutes (partially covered so that the liquid evaporates).

4. add the chopped dill after 30 minutes, combine well, and simmer for another 5-10 minutes-there should be very little liquid left in the pot- if not, take up the heat and make sure there is not too much liquid left.

5. crack the eggs right on top of the beans, cover the pot, and allow them to cook for just a few minutes (depending on how you prefer your eggs)~ it is ready to serve as soon as the eggs are cooked. top with fresh dill and freshly ground pepper.


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