Provencal beans with anchovy toasts

Sweet roast tomatoes are the finishing touch in this French-tinged starter by Tom Parker Bowles
By Tom Parker Bowles
Provencal beans with anchovy toasts
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the roast tomatoes

  • 2 plum tomatoes, halved
  • olive oil, to drizzle

For the anchovy toasts

  • 12 anchovy fillets
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 8 very thin slices French country-style bread

For the provencal beans

  • 500 g fine French beans, topped and tailed
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finley chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • splashes white wine vinegar
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped


1. For the roast tomatoes: preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2. Sit the halved tomatoes in a roasting tray cut-side up, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle over some olive oil. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes are very tender and golden-brown around the edges.

2. For the anchovy toasts: mash the anchovies and butter together in a small bowl until smooth. Spread over half of the bread and top with the remaining slices. Toast in a sandwich maker or electric grill until golden-brown on both sides. Cut into fingers.

3. For the provencal beans: cook the beans in a pan of boiling water for 4-5 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and refresh in cold water, then dry on kitchen paper.

4. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and cook the shallots and garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Add the beans and heat through for 1 minute. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then stir in the vinegar and check the seasoning again. Sprinkle with parsley.

5. To serve, put the beans in a small dish and place on a serving platter. Sit the roast tomatoes on one side of the plate and arrange the anchovy soldiers alongside.

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