Monday, January 10, 2011
As part of my January-post-holiday-efforts to eat more healthily and possibly a bit lighter, I’ve decided to avoid meat for the next few weeks. I figure if you cut out a few things from your diet, you’re bound to do better, right? Plus, remember all those beans and lentils I bought back in October at the Salone? Well, time to dig them out of the pantry.
So, this morning I set the beans to soak and had all day long to think about what to do with them. The no-brainer route is, of course, soup. But the beans I grabbed were Fagiola a Formella. I vaguely remember buying them just because they were so pretty. They are a beautiful creamy white color and a flat shape I’d never seen before. I wanted to find a recipe where they would keep their color and form, not losing themselves in a beany, soupy mash-up.
So, there I was, in yoga class. Instead of zoning out, I of course kept thinking about my beans. When my mind finally changed chapters, I found myself thinking about salsa verde. Remember last week and that Frutta Mostarda cocktail I whipped up? Ever since then I can’t stop thinking about the other condiment to bollito misto, salsa verde.
Since bollito misto was out of the question, I decided the white beans would be a perfect excuse for salsa verde. The piquant mix of parsley, anchovies, garlic and capers would be perfect drizzled over the warm beans.
Now I can hear my sister asking, “But what do you serve with it?” Sauteed cabbage. Because who really wants salad on a cold and wintery day?
Beans and Salsa Verde
1 large bunch parsley (about 5 cups of leaves)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons of capers
4 Tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper
Place everything but the olive oil in the food processor. Chop until mixed well. Add olive oil, and blend for a few more seconds.
Taste for salt (it should be pretty salty from the anchovies and capers already)
1 pound of dried beans.
Soak for at least six hours, then boil in salted water till tender (but not overly mushy).
(I used Formella beans, but any largish white beans will do. Don’t used canned beans. Please. I know it’s easy, but canned beans vs. dried are just two different food groups in my humble opinion. )
Drain and toss still warm beans with salsa verde and serve.
NOTE: If you make this ahead of time, wait to mix the beans and salsa verde. Heat beans first, then add sauce, then serve (you don’t want to cook the sauce). And be very very careful. I'm warning you. The bowl of salsa verde, just sitting there, is almost impossible not to start eating with a spoon. And once you start, you just can't stop.