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                   Email: nanette@freerangegourmet.com

Sunday, March 06, 2011

 

Same beans, different taste


by Nanette Geller

Cooking for just one or two people sometimes seems like more trouble than it’s worth. It can be just as much work to make one serving as it is to make a big potful. Why not just nuke a package from the freezer and call it dinner? Make more and keep eating leftovers? Boooring.

Not necessarily. With just a little creativity, and very little effort, the same dish can morph into something new.

Case in point: last month I cooked about 2 cups of dried cannellini beans. I soaked them overnight, then cooked them simply with a couple of whole garlic cloves, a bay leaf, a few peppercorns, a sprig of thyme and a glug of olive oil. I added salt when they were almost done.

The first night I served them at room temp with just a drizzle of olive oil and a touch of sherry vinegar. The next night I mixed them with Andy’s salsa from Bueno Salsa (a staple in my fridge, available at KCC and some stores). A couple of days later I mixed them with pesto from J’s seasonings (available at KCC a couple of times a month). Same beans but very different flavor profiles with no extra effort.  A few days later the weather turned chilly, so I made a delicious and nourishing soup with the remaining beans together with their cooking liquid and some veggies (not pictured).

As you can see, some of the accompaniments remained the same. We don’t mind that. There was enough difference to keep things interesting.

 

Beans-1

 

Cannellini beans with olive oil & sherry vinegar

Clockwise from the beans: braised escarole, feta cheese marinated with olive oil and thyme, roasted potatoes with smoked paprika, purslane salad, diced avocado with lemon juice, French Breakfast radishes.

I rarely see escarole at the farmers market, so I was happy to find it at Ma’o Organic Farm. Braised with olive oil, anchovy, garlic, onion, and a touch of sherry vinegar, it became seductively silky and a perfect foil for the beans.

 



 

Beans-2

Cannellini beans with salsa

Clockwise from the beans: braised escarole, marinated feta, roasted potatoes with Penzeys Singapore seasoning, avocado, roasted broccoli.



 

Beans-3

Cannellini beans with pesto

Clockwise from the beans: avocado, mizuna, tataro salad from Taro Delight (available at farmers markets and some stores), marinated feta, braised escarole




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