Beans, greens and grains: Remember this formula, and you will be fed for a lifetime in a very healthy, inexpensive and earth-friendly way. And it’ll never get old. You simply cannot exhaust the shapes, sizes and varieties of beans, grains and green vegetables alone (but have fun geeking out over heirloom beans and trying!). And there’s no limit to how you can prepare these—from black beans and rice to daal to minestrone, to new creations that are somewhere in between these various classics of … Read More
It’s more filling than a mere tomato sauce, but just as easy to make. I like to make versatile dishes in the winter; things that can keep well in the fridge, and keep on playing new roles well, too, albeit of a similar character. It’s not the Meryl Streep of foods, I guess: this bean and pancetta-studded tomato sauce wouldn’t exactly make a drastic turn in, say, Vietnamese cuisine. But it does wear many hats quite deliciously keeping within a … Read More
I’ve warmed up to baked, savory dips lately, the kind you schmear onto a cracker or crisped piece of bread at parties. I love cracking the golden crust like a creme brulee, revealing an oozing interior and steam. On Thanksgiving, I mustered my first-ever artichoke dip, a simple concoction using tangy Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or cream cheese. Last weekend, it was this creamy blend of white beans and spinach, pulsed just enough to create a velvety texture but … Read More
I’m much more of a bean than cream person when it comes to soups. But I think you can find a happy compromise by slow-cooking white beans until so tender they’re luxuriously creamy on their own. So rather than following the formula for cream of broccoli (or cream of fill-in-the-blank vegetable), you might sate your taste buds for the mild taste and velvety texture of much the same with this soup instead. I’ve gone and added some cauliflower along with … Read More
I’m always looking to cook beans in a hearty application that doesn’t involve meat. After all, beans are a protein on their own. From lentils to split peas to baked beans with ginger, chipotle and hoisin, this has offered varied and delicious results. Why am I doing this? I have no idea, I’m not even a vegetarian. I just want to see how best it can be done.
Yeah, they’re navy beans, so what? I didn’t have lentils on hand. But I still wanted to make something spicy with curry seasonings, filling in just a few slurps, delicious, and did I mention, cheap? Any bean, please. And for that matter, anything else that was in the cupboards, too. This happened to include some pickled red peppers from last summer’s harvest, parsley and shallots, and a lemon bursting with juice. Which brings me to a very tentative naming situation: … Read More
Sometimes the simplest things really are the best. I’d planned to cook, eat, and write about an elaborate dish on my day off. It would be exciting, colorful, and completely novel. It would also somehow incorporate soaked and mostly-cooked white beans, which I had leftover. After a morning of deliberation and preparation, it was done: sour citrus wedges, briny olives and mealy white beans, unexpectedly brought to congress with plenty drizzles of olive oil. But once it was photographed and … Read More
Forgive the excessively esoteric sound of this dish’s name. I had tried coming up with other things to call it: Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli and Braised Broccoli and Cauliflower Greens with Navy Beans and Creamed Potatoes? Too long. White Cauliflower, Cheddar Cauliflower, Broccoli and Their Combined Greens Braised with Navy Beans and Roasted Red Pepper and Served on Creamy, Truffled, Mashed Fingerling Potatoes? Too specific. Stuff That I Got From My CSA This Week, Cooked and Piled Ceremoniously Together on a Plate? That … Read More
The problem with soaking dried beans, which isn’t a probably exactly, and wouldn’t be one in the first place if you’re a little better at stomach-eye coordination as I am, is that you’re usually left with far more beans than you had bargained for. Water plumps up the beans, sometimes creating pot overflows and dried, un-soaked portions at the top. (It’s a bit like planting a magic beanstalk, with less fees, fies, foes and fums.) Ever since the Cassoulet Cook-Off, … Read More
Who says the Fourth of July can’t be red, white, green, yellow, orange, purple and blue? This quick chip and dip snack is an easy fix for barbecue-bringing, and it can be improvised with almost any veggies you might have on hand. Sure, it might not look as bright and pretty in that abstract expressionist painting way as a strictly veggies-only salsa, but white beans go a long way and sure do make one smooth, almost creamy base.