Monday, October 16, 2006

Cannellini with Herbes de Provence

I don't have a photo for this dish but the white beans with the dark green flecks of herbs and red bits of tomato are very pretty. We ate it hot the first day, and then I scooped it out cold with tortilla chips for lunch. It made a surprisingly filling lunch! This one is a keeper - I'll be making this again during Advent (aka Philip's Fast) when all Orthodox abstain from flesh meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products. This would be more authentic made with flageolets, but dried cannellini are what was in my pantry, so that's what I used. I love the creamy goodness of cannellini!

Cannellini with Herbes de Provence

1 C white beans, soaked overnight
1 small onion, peeled, left whole, and studded with two whole cloves
2 whole garlic cloves
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Drain the beans, cover with 1 1/2" of water, and add all the above ingredients except the salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook at a very low simmer until the beans are tender but not mushy. Remove the onion, garlic and bay leaf. Drain the beans, but set aside a cup or so of the cooking water. Stir in the salt. You should have about 3 cups of cooked beans.

1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
1 med onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried savory
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 C dry white wine
4 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped, or one 15 oz can of diced tomatoes in juice
3 cups cooked white beans
salt and pepper
2 Tbs vinegar (optional)
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley ( optional)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute till soft and golden brown. Stir in the herbs and then the wine and cook till the wine is reduced by half and the alcohol has been burned off. Add the tomatoes and simmer 10 minutes till thickened. Taste for salt and pepper. Add the beans and simmer over low heat another 10 minutes to meld the flavors. Adjust the salt and pepper again. If the beans get too dry, add in some of the cooking water. Just before serving, stir in the vinegar and parsley, and drizzle with 2 tsp of your best, fruitiest extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil.


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