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Aug 26, 2008 12:52 PM

Beans - need inspiration

Planning to cook some beans as a main course tonight. They're white beans, larger than cannelini beans but look very similar. The instructions said to soak before cooking which I've done.

Any suggestions on what to do with them once they're cooked? I'm planning to simmer them in water with carrot, celery, onion, garlic and bay leaf - but need inspiration from there. In the past I've always added garlic, tomato, onions and whatever herbs I have around to the cooked beans but I'm looking for something new to try.

Items I have on hand at home are: eggplant, frying peppers, prosciutto, onion, shallot, tomato (canned & fresh). I also have some chinese broccoli and collard greens from my local farmers' market.

Any suggestions?

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  1. If the tomatoes are garden fresh, chop them and add to the cool, cooked beans (add thyme to the cook water too). Make a vinegarette with the shallots, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Toss together. Although I don't eat meat, the prosciutto lightly grilled (I know, I know - bad form) and tossed in with it would be great. Serve with steamed broccoli, the peppers (roasted and sliced) and tossed with a little olive oil and lemon.

    1. I'd probably saute the shallots and prosciutto in olive oil till the shallots have softened, then add the beans and whatever herbs are handy.

      Or, roast the eggplants, tomatoes, and onions till they're caramelized and delicious, then chop and add to beans

        I usually use cannellini beans, but you can use your favorite, chickpeas, fave, bianche de spagna, etc.
        2 –15 oz. Cans Cannellini beans (drained & rinsed) Grated Imported Romano Cheese
        1 Tbs. Minced Garlic 1 med. Onion, diced
        ½ cup olive oil (x-virgin is best) 2-28 oz. Cans Chopped Tomatoes
        1-15 oz. Jar Strained Tomatoes 1 med. Bell Pepper, diced
        Salt and pepper to taste Fresh Basil
        While the pasta water is boiling, make the sauce. In frypan, Sauté olive oil, onion, and garlic over medium heat until softened. Add beans and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, stir well, then add salt, pepper, and fresh basil. Cook over medium-high heat till bubbling, then turn down to simmer.
        Cook the pasta as directed on package, adding a little salt & olive oil to the water. When cooked al dente (cooked firm, but not crunchy), drain in colander. (DO NOT RINSE). Put in serving dish, cover with sauce, toss, sprinkle with Romano cheese and enjoy!

        Recipe: Tuscan minestrone
        August 8, 2007
        Total time: About 1 hour, 30 minutes, plus soaking time for the beans

        Servings: 6 to 8

        Note: From Donna Deane

        8 ounces dried cannellini beans (about 1 1/4 cups)

        1 tablespoon olive oil plus olive oil for drizzling

        1/2 cup finely chopped onions

        1/2 cup finely chopped carrots

        1/2 cup finely chopped celery

        1 clove garlic, minced

        8 cups chicken broth

        1 (4-inch) sprig rosemary

        About 12 fingerling potatoes or small Yukon gold potatoes, 3/4 -inch diced (about 1 cup)

        2 to 3 small zucchini, cut into 3/4 -inch pieces (about 3 cups)

        1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4 -inch pieces (about 1 cup)

        Salt, pepper

        3 tablespoons finely sliced basil strips

        1. Bring 1 quart of water to boil. Place the cannellini beans in a medium bowl, and pour the boiling water over them to cover. Allow the beans to stand one hour, then drain. Set aside.

        2. In a large saucepot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat. Stir in the onions, carrots and celery and sauté until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, and sauté just until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds.

        3. Stir in the chicken broth along with the drained beans and the sprig of rosemary. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes.

        4. Stir in the potatoes, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and tomato, cover and continue to simmer 10 more minutes.

        5. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with fresh basil and a light drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

        Each serving: 160 calories; 10 grams protein; 25 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams fiber; 2 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 409 mg. sodium.

        White Bean and Soybean salad

        two cups cooked white beans, about the same amount of tomatos cut the same size as the beans, half a bunch of chopped cilantro, half a cup of lemon juice, half a cup of olive oil, 1 tsp of crushed garlic, and 1 tsp of salt. Mix together and let sit til next day.

        Steam one and a half pounds shelled fresh soybeans, meanwhile mixing together 2/3 cup white wine vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tbs dried oregano, and 2/3 tsp of salt. Pour dressing over hot soybeans and mix together, then store in fridge. You can eat the salad as soon as the beans have cooled off but it is better the next day.

        1. My favourite white bean recipe...assuming the beans have been soaked and par-cooked at this point:

          Chop up 2 to 3 leeks and sweat gently in a bit of olive oil and a knob of butter along with 3-4 minced garlic cloves. Once they are soft add about a cup of good dry white wine and once it has reached a boil add the beans with a bit of water. Simmer for about 10 minutes uncovered until everything is just slightly soupy. Add a good handful of fresh parsley and stir in 2 good spoonfuls of creme fraiche. Adjust the seasonings and you're set.