I first had a dish like this in a café in Bristol. The beans were spicy, the guacamole was fragrant, and it was topped with a perfect poached egg. Black beans are high in both protein and fibre, and fibre plays an important role in digestive health and can help with bowel function.
white wine vinegar
For the black beans
small knob of butter or 1 tsp olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1/3 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
200ml chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 bay leaf
400g tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
400g tin of good-quality chopped tomatoes
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp hot paprika
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the guacamole
2 ripe avocados, peeled and stoned
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
pinch of dried chilli flakes, plus extra to serve
squeeze of lime juice
small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped, plus extra to serve
To make the baked black beans, melt the butter (or heat the oil) in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the carrot, onion, celery and chilli and fry for 5 minutes, until the onions are soft. Add the rest of the ingredients, season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 15 minutes (or longer, if you have the time – the longer you simmer the beans, the better their flavour), adding water if the sauce starts to dry out.
Meanwhile, make the guacamole. Mash the avocado in a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper and cover the bowl with cling film until needed.
Just before the beans are ready, poach the eggs. Bring a pan of water to the boil over a high heat and add a splash of vinegar. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Crack one egg at a time into a coffee mug, then carefully tip each egg into the water (turning up the heat if the water stops simmering). Leave the eggs to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Ladle the beans into bowls, add a dollop of guacamole to each serving and top with a drained poached egg, a sprinkle of chilli flakes and fresh coriander.
Other beans, such as borlotti or red kidney beans, work just as well as black beans in this recipe.
The baked beans can also be made up to a day in advance and reheated when needed.
You can deseed your chilli if you don’t like your food too spicy.
Extracted from The Model Method by Hollie Grant, owner of PilatesPT (Piatkus, approx €19). Photography by Nassima Rothacker.