Bean Bake with Cornmeal Topping - Retro Random Recipe

Bean Bake with Cornmeal Topping - Retro Random Recipe

First let me apologise for the quality of the photographs.  My DSLR camera has had to go for a minor repair so I had to resort to my ancient compact camera which does not take good photos in low light  and at this time of year, there are only a few hours of decent light.


  • And so the Retro Random Recipe, that's not the theme for the monthly challenge, run by Dom at Belleau Kitchen , just my interpretation.  No, this month Dom has taken himself off to California (lucky so and so!) and is borrowing his Random book from his step-mum's kitchen.   He has asked us to join in and borrow a book from someone else's kitchen,.a good friend or a neighbour,  parents or grandparents anyone who has an interesting collection of books.
  • I asked my friend, Avril, if she would choose a book for me. She brought two books into work and put them behind her back, she asked me to choose left or right and  my random book choice was...
  • In case you are wondering, the other book was a Robert Carrier one, full of rich creamy dishes, so I was really quite pleased to get the Sarah Brown book.
  • For those of you not old enough to remember, Sarah was TVs Vegetarian Cook in the 1980s.  Her recipes were healthy, wholefood dishes and introduced veggie cooking to many people who had no idea how to go about cooking healthy meals without meat.  I used to own a different book by Sarah Brown, but gave it away as it wasn't being used, however it was good to revisit and there are some really tasty dishes in this book.  I used the random number generator to find my recipe and came up with Savoury Cornmeal Topping for Vegetables.
  • I'm on a bit of a mission to eat up all the food that seems to have accumulated in my larder, fridge and freezer and did a big 'audit' at the weekend.  So  instead of using the recipe as a topping for vegetables I decided I would  use it to top a Bean Bake with roasted carrots and parsnip.
  • Savoury Cornmeal Topping For Vegetables
  • This is a very quick and tasty batter topping that can be used to cover most mixtures of vegetables.  Remember to make the vegetable base quite moist so that it complements the sponge-like topping.  When making the topping, don't forget that the amount of liquid you need may vary according to the type of flour you  use and how long you have had them. Simply add more liquid gradually until the mixture reaches a pouring consistency.  Once made the batter should be cooked immediately.
  • The Bean Bake is based, very loosely, on a recipe for 'Butter Beans in brown onion sauce' from another old favourite Gail Duff's Vegetarian Cooking, this one has survived all book shelf culls and is well worn and much loved.  Gail's recipe doesn't have vegetables in it, just beans and a miso and onion sauce but it gave me the inspiration and the wrinkly carrots and parsnips in my vegetable rack and half used packets of dried beans, nearing their use by date, gave me the motivation!
  • Bean Bake with Roasted Carrots and Parsnips (serves 8)
  • 500g beans (I used about 300g black eyed beans and 200g Butter Beans) soaked overnight in cold water, drained and cooked until just soft.
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 5 parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 1/2 tbsp wholemeal flour
  • 1 pint vegetable stock
  • Heat the oven to 200C
  • Blanch the carrots for 4 minutes,  either in a pan of simmering water on the stove or in a suitable container in the microwave with a tablespoon of water.
  •  Put the oil in a roasting tin and add the parsnips and blanched carrots and stir them around to cover with oil.
  • Roast for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and slightly crispy round the edges.

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