Contributing Monkie Vanessa Sherwood
Published on June 14, 2012
Photography Vanessa Sherwood
Beans and greens. Mmmm. One of the simplest, best tasting meals ever. And since I’m currently operating with three, count’em three stictches in my right thumb, my dinners this week have been dishes without a whole lot of chopping involved.
I’ve made lots of similar dishes in the past, but I’ve always used canned beans, since the thought of using dried beans always seemed like so much work to me. Then I came across this cookbook called ‘Super Natural Cooking’ by Heidi Swanson. In it not only is there a fabulous recipes for beans and green, but Heidi also mentions a company called Rancho Gordo that specializes in heirloom beans. I decided to order a few different kind of beans (there are so many amazing varieties) and am now totally obsessed over their giant Cannellini beans. Oh, and they are ‘kitty approved’ as well… :)
Yes, dried beans are a little more work, but with just a little planning ahead, it’s really not that difficult and sooo worth the extra effort. All you have to do is soak them in water before going to bed and then some time the next day, cook them up which takes about an hour to an hour in a half. In fact, you can find out all sorts of helpful tips and recipes at the Rancho Gordo website.
Beans and Greens (adapted from ‘Super Natural Cooking‘ by Heidi Swanson)
For the Recipe
1 cup dried Cannellini beans from Rancho Gordo, soaked and cooked until tender and drained (1 cup dried will end up being 2 cups cooked approximately)
3 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
1/2 an onion, diced (white or yellow)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 big handfuls arugula (or you can use any greens of your choosing)
Salt, pepper for seasoning
Parmesan or pinenut parmesan for topping, along with olive oil for drizzling
1. Heat the butter or olive oil over medium heat in a skillet (the bigger the pan, the better).
2. Add the beans and saute long enough so that they start to form a lovely golden crust on them. This will take around 8 minutes- don’t forget to stir them around every couple of minutes.
3. At this point, add the onion and garlic and continue to cook for another minute or two until the onion softens.
4. At this point you can take the pan off of the heat and stir in the arugula.
5. The hot beans and onion will be enough to wilt the arugula and keep it a vibrant green color. If you use swiss chard or kale, you might want to cook them separately and then add to the bean mixture since they aren’t as delicate and fast cooking as arugula or spinach.
6. Season with salt and pepper and top with a parmesan of your choice and a drizzle of high quality olive oil.