Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Beans And Greens

As a birthday present this year, my dear friend, Christa Glennie Seychew, gave me a gift bag from Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto, a boutique online store specializing in Italian cured meats and heirloom dry beans. Inside the bag I was elated to find packages of wonderful heirloom dry beans along with a package of fennel and cinnamon seasoned salt from Trapani, Sicily. Inspired, I quickly put these special ingredients to good use.

After cooking with these remarkable beans I took a photograph of the finished dish and sent it along with the recipe to Christa to share my excitement and gratitude. Imagine my surprise to find that Christa published my photograph and recipe in a post on’s Recipe of the Week.

Because these beans are so special, I kept the broth clean and light, not thick or starchy. For me, this dish is all about the beans. This is my own recipe, so the ingredients—and the amount I used of each of the ingredients—is open to interpretation.

Beans & Greens

Soak beans overnight:
1 cup Fagioli Grossi
1 cup Fagioli Pisani
1/2 cup Ceci Toscani
Drain and rinse.

In a dutch oven add the beans with some rosemary and sage. Add water to cover by 6 inches. Cook until desired doneness. Set aside.

In a soup pot cook onions, carrots, celery and garlic in olive oil until just tender. Add enough chicken broth to barely cover the vegetables, then add chopped red swiss chard (which lends a beautiful rose color to the broth). Cover the pot and cook until the swiss chard has wilted.

Add the cooked beans to the pot along with some fresh rosemary, sage, salt (I used a fennel and cinnamon salt from Trapani) and pepper. Simmer until heated through.

To serve:
Ladle into warm bowls and drizzle with your finest olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. You can sprinkle with grated Romano cheese, but, why would you mask the clean, light, nutty flavor of these gorgeous beans? As much as I love pasta, and lord knows I love pasta, do not add pasta to this dish. It will get cloudy and starchy, and that would be an unforgivable crime.

For a glimpse of a prolific food writer at work, follow this link:

Thank you, Christa! You rock!


Scotty said...

So we both used heirloom beans in the same week? ;-)

LIVE TO EAT said...

Yes, Scotty we did. And you used yours to make a divine Cassoulet! I'm still drooling...