beans, beans, (beans) and beans

March 17th, 2009 · 968 Comments

i eat a lot of beans. i didn’t used to. but rancho gordo changed all that. i know, you’ve heard it before. but RG has radically altered my personal food pyramid and now, well – i eat a lot of beans…

so in the past two weeks, i’ve made three big pots of very different bean stews and all of them were quite good. but being that this is my every day kind of food, i don’t always write about such lunches and dinners. but there i was, home with no car and a new puppy – and so i took a few shots anyway – and now i’ve decided that as a trio it all makes for a solid post. and so i present to you a virtual hill of beans…

but – being that my memory is only so acute, i may have forgotten a thing or two about the first dish. and in all fairness, that one isn’t even a bean dish. it’s lentils and orzo. and i am not lying when i tell you that i’ve no earthly idea what went into that one. except the green lentils and the last of a container of whole wheat orzo. and carrots and onions. oh, and chicken stock. and i vaguely remember a healthy dose of my sicilian oregano going in there… but ok, really. now i am clueless. except to say that it was damn good food and even better with an egg on top.

oh dear, i just remembered this one too…

these were some leftover christmas lima beans from something or another, way back when, and this was lunch one of those days and it was just so pretty i couldn’t resist taking a picture. a typical lunch in the life of claudia young. now you have it. more beans. and arugula, which i love almost as much as i love beans, if not more. depending when you might ask…

bean dish #2 was actually really fun to make. i had no idea what i was going for, and i just kind of let each ingredient added determine the next in line. at one point i realized i’d better write down what i was doing – and it looked a little bit like this:

brown tepiary beans
whole garlic cloves
bay leaves
chopped shallots
lots of fresh thyme
a heaping spoonful of pimenton
a can of san marzano tomatoes
collard greens
white rice
crushed chili pepper
one fat anchovy
a lot of balsamic vinegar
3 cups of brown veal stock

all served up in a bowl with a healthy pour of some wonderful grassy green olive oil floating on top. and of course, the obligatory fried egg…

somehow there’s no picture except for this, the final addition of the veal stock, which i kind of got a kick out of. being that it was an afterthought, i grabbed some of my stock from the freezer, peeled off the bag and stuck it into the middle of the pot like a meaty popsicle.


and then lastly, i had soaked some calypso beans and had a few sweet potatoes laying around so i decided to get crazy, veer from the italian and go all carribean. which was an interesting study being that i know nothing about that genre of cooking. BUT by god, i’m a googling fool and after punching in "carribean bean and sweet potato stew", my next ingredients were:

bay leaves
chopped onion
chopped celery
frozen spinach
chili flakes
AND (just because)
this very italian
mugolio pine syrup – i could have used brown sugar but i had this and well, on a whim in it went. i had recently bought it, tried it and was a little unsure of how i would ever use it. i love market hall foods but this particular product didn’t have quite the kick i had hoped for. in all fairness it’s just as they describe – a honey like syrup with pine overtones. whereas i was thinking more pine in the forefront.

served over a nutty brown rive, everyone really loved this. it was unlike what i usually do – which was a nice change.

i suppose the beauty of this food is that it is supremely healthy and i always use whatever is in my cupboard and the draws of my fridge. i never go to the market to shop for my next pot of beans. they just become whatever they were meant to be on that day.

oh, and did i mention the cannellini’s that are soaking in my kitchen right now?

Tags: beans · greens · soup

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