With layers of spice and sweetness, this robust dish from the pages of Rancho Gordo’s Heirloom Beans is a lovely way to ease into autumn. There are a lot of ingredients involved here, but the cooking is straightforward and the result is a flavorful, hearty meal. It’s even better rewarmed as leftovers with a fresh drizzle of honey, so you might consider doubling the batch. I used Rancho Gordo’s flageolet beans, Love a Bee’s Bottle Rocket Blend honey—both available at The Local Butcher Shop—along with our lamb merguez sausage.

White Beans with Merguez Sausage, Pistachios and Honey

From Heirloom Beans, by Steve Sando & Vanessa Barrington

  • ½ pound flageolet, marrow, cannellini or other white bean, soaked for several hours or overnight
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh lamb merguez sausage
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons water (or Sherry if you have it on hand) to deglaze the pan
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted & ground
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seed, toasted & ground
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
  • 1 bunch chard leaves, stems removed  and cut into ribbons
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons harissa paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup chopped pistachios, lightly toasted
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons honey

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the beans and their soaking water to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the sausages and cook, turning frequently, until browned and just cooked through. Remove from pan, cool and refrigerate until serving.


Pour off most of the fat from the skillet and set over medium heat. In the same skilled, add the onion, garlic and celery and sautée stirring and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add a little water (or Sherry) if needed to loosen the browned bits and keep the vegetables from sticking. Cook the vegetables until soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the vegetables, coriander, cumin and Aleppo pepper to the beans. Partially cover and simmer until the beans begin to soften, about 1 hour. Season with salt and continue to cook until the beans are soft, about 30 more minutes.


In the skillet, gently rewarm the sausage over low heat.

Add the greens to the beans and cook, stirring until tender. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice and harissa paste. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Serve the beans in shallow bowls. Slice the sausage and arrange on the beans. Sprinkle with the pistachios and drizzle with honey.