Hello everyone and happy belated Valentine’s day! These past few weeks have been a little crazy for me (more details to come in future posts), but I should be back to a regular posting schedule this week. Yay!
The “Food” section on the New York Times has to be one of my favorite free-time reads. I read it all: the recipes, the restaurant reviews, the random opinion pieces… you name it, I probably read it! Not only is it well-written, but it can also be surprisingly interesting. I mean, I’ve learned about so many random things ranging from traditions and ingredients, all the way to chefs and hottest trends. Most recently, I stumbled upon a fun little article about Marcella Hazan’s favorite beans. I told you… random. But I still read it! Apparently, nothing comes close to a warm plate of these white beans with a drizzle of good olive oil. Yet, her favorite variety could only be found in Italy, so the owner of California-based Rancho Gordo decided to grow them there for her. They are apparently the only ones growing them in the US and decided to call them “Marcella’s” in honor of the chef.
After reading this piece, two beans-related thoughts came to my mind. The first was that I really wanted to come up with more recipes for them. Sure, I could make traditional cassoulet or a side of French flageolets, but that was the extent of my experience with beans. Right then, I was craving something more modern and fresh. The second was Heidi Swanson’s pan fried giant white beans recipe. Adding one to the other, I rushed to the kitchen and created my twist on Heidi’s recipe. I had some giant butter beans in my pantry, and some spinach in my fridge. I added mushrooms and onions because one can never go wrong with those, and what resulted is pictured right below.
Now this is totally different from Marcella Hazan’s beans (and way to cook them, which I shall both try eventually) but it’s pretty damn good! Once pan fried, the skin around these beans gets golden and crispy while their center remains creamy. The freshly grated cheese brings the dish to the next level. It’s veggie comfort food at its best!
I’ll be sure to experiment more with different varieties and recipes throughout winter. Let me know if you have your own favorites (varieties or recipes) in the comments – I’d love to learn more about these gems. After trying a recipe on my own, I’m further convinced that beans are completely underrated. Not only do they taste really great, but they are also incredible nutrition-wise for people trying to cut down/replace animal protein. They’re packed with nutrients and good carbs, and keep you full for long. So dig in, and bon appétit!
Total time: 20 minutes
- 1/2 cup giant butter beans
- 1/4 yellow onion
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 3-4 baby bella mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 lemon
- olive oil
- Parmesan cheese or any tomme (garnish)
- spicy oil (optional garnish)
- Rinse and slice the mushrooms and roughly mince the onion.
- Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the mushrooms and onions with some salt. Let it all sweat for a couple minutes, until lightly brown. Then, add a splash of water and let it evaporate to soften it all.
- Add a bit more oil and the giant butter beans in a single layer. Let them fry until golden for 4-5 minutes. Then flip them and let the other side brown.
- Finally, add the lemon juice and spinach. Let the greens wilt quickly.
- Serve in a deep plate and garnish with some freshly grated cheese and a drizzle of spicy oil. Enjoy!
“Haricots de Lima Géants Grillés, Champignons et Epinards“
Temps Total: 20 minutes
- 1/2 boite de haricots de Lima géants
- 1/4 d’oignon jaune
- 1 tasse de pousses d’épinards
- 3-4 champignons gris de Paris
- 1 gousse d’ail
- 1/2 citron
- huile d’olive
- Parmesan ou tomme de chèvre/brebis (garniture)
- huile pimentée (garniture)
- Rincez et tranchez les champignons. Emincez l’oignon.
- Faites chauffer de l’huile dans une poèle et ajoutez les champignons et l’oignon avec une bonne pincée de sel. Laissez le tout suer un moment jusqu’à ce que les légumes dorent. Puis, ajoutez un filet d’eau et laissez-le s’évaporer.
- Ajoutez un peu d’huile, et disposez les haricots en une seule couche dans la poèle. Faites-les dorer pendant 4-5 minutes, puis tournez les pour dorer l’autre côté.
- Ajoutez enfin le jus de citron et les épinards. Mélangez délicatement juste pour ramollir les feuilles.
- Servez le tout dans une assiette creuse, et garnissez de parmesan fraichement rapé et d’un filet d’huile pimentée. Bon appétit!