#SaturdayNightCook Black-eyed beans with chard and green herb smash

I’ll be cooking again this Saturday at 6pm on Instagram live and this week I’m making my black eyed beans with chard and green herb smash from my 2nd book “A Modern Way to Cook”. It’s an easy stew that has its roots in Palestine, topped with a green herb smash that you could put on anything and it would make it better. As ever you can swap out for what you have – any beans are welcome, any soft herb for the smash, tinned tomatoes in place of passata.

Please note the version below is a corrected version of the recipe printed in my book, A Modern Way to Cook. Unfortunately, the recipe was printed without the passata as an ingredient, but this has been corrected below. Despite many tests and proof reads, sometimes mistakes are inevitable, and I am sorry if you have the uncorrected version. 


1 leek
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
a good pinch of chilli powder or chopped dried chilli
2 × 400g tins of black-eyed beans
1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder, or 1⁄2 a stock cube
250ml of passata
a good grating of nutmeg
½ a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1⁄2 an unwaxed lemon
200g bunch of Swiss or rainbow chard or greens of your choice

A small bunch of fresh coriander
A small bunch of fresh parsley
2 green chillies
2 cloves of garlic
30g shelled walnuts
1 tablespoon runny honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons good olive oil
the juice of 1⁄2 a lemon

Get all your ingredients together. Put a large saucepan on the heat.

Wash and finely slice the leek. Add to the saucepan with a tablespoon of coconut or olive oil and cook for a couple of minutes until soft and sweet.

Finely slice the garlic and add to the pan with the chilli powder or dried chilli and cook for a couple of minutes, until the garlic is beginning to brown. Add the black-eyed beans with their liquid, the stock powder or cube, 200ml hot water and the passata and bring to a simmer. Grate in the nutmeg and add the cinnamon, squeeze in the juice of half the lemon, add the squeezed lemon half to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile, strip the leaves from the chard stalks. Finely slice the stalks and add them to the pan, then finely shred the leaves and put to one side.

Put all the ingredients for the herb smash into a food processor, squeeze 
in the juice of the other half of the lemon and blitz until you have a smooth grassy paste. Season well with salt and pepper.

Once the black beans are soft and flavourful and the liquid has reduced to a thick soup-like consistency, stir in the chard leaves, season well with salt and pepper and leave to cook for a couple of minutes. Scoop into deep bowls and spoon over the herb smash. If you’re really hungry, some rice or flatbread would go well.

Image: Katie Wilson

Posted: 07.05.20 22 Comments


Posted by Brighde at 11:54 on the 16.09.17

What is the kettle water for? X

Posted by maria pont at 11:00 on the 18.11.17

my daughter cooked this the other day. It was left for a few days to infuse and I can honestly say it was one of the best tastes ever.

Posted by Anna at 8:49 on the 20.11.17

Thanks so much Maria. So pleased you enjoyed.

Posted by cathy Sturrock at 5:45 on the 11.01.18

Fed to my non vegan family tonight – everyone said it was absolutely delicious. Served with rice or Tortillas and avocados. N. B. Didn’t include oil in cooking.

Posted by Ali Clifford at 7:43 on the 25.01.18

Oh my word – thank you to Catherine Frawley for introducing me to you and to this dish; 13yo and I just made it together – he had a fried egg with his and we swapped out the green chillis for mild red ones… amazeballs! Thank you – Ali @incredibusy

Posted by Matt at 12:54 on the 13.05.18

This is amazing. So easy, comforting, and delicious. A new family staple.

Posted by Ros Belford at 1:51 on the 07.06.18

Incredible dish — and the first time ever I have loved black-eyed beans. Their chalky texture suits this dish perfectly — and the herb smash lifts it to heaven. I used ground sweet cinnamon which seemed to have even more depth, and I slightly increased the amount of Kashmir chilli, and I’ve done it with kale as well as chard…Also very good with roast almonds in the herb smash!!

Posted by Anna at 8:56 on the 12.06.18

so pleased you enjoyed, Ros. Thanks for such kind words

Posted by Darya at 4:31 on the 10.07.18

I LOVE this dish but my supermarket no longer stocks black-eyed beans in cans. Would you be able to advise the quantity of dried black-eyed beans (and how much of the cooking water I should use) instead? Thanks so much!

Posted by Celeste Dodwell at 10:57 on the 08.04.19

Absolutely delicious and so simple and cost effective to make! Love it! A new staple for sure!

Posted by Lise at 11:35 on the 17.05.19

Made it with black beans by mistake, but it was delicious & actually prefer the dish with this bean having tried both.

Posted by Molly at 10:48 on the 02.07.19

Just made this tonight, everyone loved it!! Cooked the beans from scratch and used some tomato sauce because I was too lazy to make proper passata, but still turned out so well!

Posted by Richard at 5:38 on the 03.07.19

Hey FYI the passata is missing from the recipe in your book! Wondered why mine looked a bit anemic:)

Posted by Nathalie at 1:37 on the 25.09.19

What a delicious dish!
The beans are wonderful and the green herb topping brings it all to another level.
Thank you Anna.
You inspire me every day.

Posted by Liam at 9:14 on the 28.05.20

We’ve started using a tablespoon or so of tomato paste, which we fry off w/ the leeks in place of passata, and adding a little extra liquid. It gives it more of a broth quality, which we really love. Can’t get enough of that herb smash.

Posted by Maria Elvin at 12:38 on the 03.08.20

Absolutely love this. Can you freeze it?

Posted by Rebecca Freedman at 2:13 on the 02.01.21

This was absolutely delicious! I added a tsp of smoked paprika to enhance the smoked flavor. Used soaked black eyed peas and inceased the water to 3 cups so they simmered and cooked in the pot. Used slivered kale because that’s what I had. Served with vegan cornbread for a perfect New Year’s Day dinner.

Posted by Susan at 7:52 on the 15.04.21

This dish is amazing. Anna Jones you smash being veggie/vegan. Tasty, wholesome, perfect instructions and no meat in sight. I can feed this to my son/husband and they won’t complain. In fact they rejoice. Thank you

Posted by Claire at 6:25 on the 03.08.21

I’m allergic to walnuts ( and tree nuts generally.) Would pine nuts work for the herb smash?

Posted by Jo Busck at 6:44 on the 07.11.21

Hi Anna, love this recipe! Do you think the smash would freeze ok?

Posted by Deborah at 2:03 on the 05.03.23

This is not the recipe in Anna’s book, which doesn’t include the passata or the cinnamon, or the parsley in the herb smash – although the image in the book clearly does contain the passata! Greater accuracy needed as this is not nice (and looks very unappetising) without the tomato added.

Posted by Nicki at 6:12 on the 19.03.23

I’ve been making this recipe from your book for years and could never understand why it looked so red in the photo, now I see why!! Still tasted good regardless but I’m looking forward to trying it with the Passat

Add a comment