Monday, September 14, 2009
Flageolet Beans with Kale and Roasted Tomato
Flageolet beans are are common in France. They are the bean in cassoulets, and popular due to their mellow flavor and ability to not fall apart while cooking. I like them because they are creamy and easy to cook. These beans tend to be light green to cream in color and are the size of a small navy bean. In fact, recipes that call for flageolet can be substituted with navy beans.
Like all dried beans, these are to be soaked over night. Of course I forget to soak beans overnight almost always, so I cheat and bring beans covered in water to a boil, rinse them, then cook them according to the directions.
Last night I made roasted chicken stuffed with lemon peel, and Flageolets. I also had a glass of Pinot Noir because husband I were celebraing our belated wedding anniversary (I missed because I was in France) and the season finale of True Blood. Dorky I know, but true.
Pinot noir is a fantastic cross-over wine. Great with vegetables, meats and fowl. If you want to pair wine and food and are wondering what one of the most versatile wines in the world is, Pinot Noir may be your ticket. I prefer Pinots from Oregon (Williamette Valley to be exact), but lets not get crazy here with too many details. Pinot Noir can be jammy (california) or they can be tight, grassy and peppery (oregon). Of course I am generalizing here to keep things from getting complicated, and there are Oregon Pinots that are jammy too. Ok, someone's eyes must be glazing over, so moving on...
Flageolet beans, although very popular in France, are hard to find in my small town. I get them in San Franciso when I am visiting and stock up. I have asked our local fine food store and my local hippie store to carry this variety though. I really am starting to dive into heirloom beans (my other favorite is Barlotti or Cranberry beans) to support the sustainability of beans species which are becoming more rare. Rancho Gordo is a new distributor of beans that support small farmers and heirloom varieties. This is the brand I have had good luck finding in the city.
You don't need a pressure cooker for this recipe. Cook the beans for 2 hrs. without a pressure cooker, or 1 hour with a pressure cooker. This is wonderful winter and fall food. My child eats this dish, but I am coming to find out that may not matter in normal kid world. She has started asking for olive oil and chevre on her whole wheat toast instead of butter and jam. So, I cannot say if you kids will eat it or not. Sorry about that!
1 1/2 cups flageolet beans
Enough water or stock just to cover beans (about 4 cups)
1 twig fresh rosemary
5 twigs fresh thyme
zest 1 lemon
glug of olive oil
2 med. carrots diced finely
1/2 large onion diced finely
1/2 cup dry white wine
After soaking or fast soaking (see above), sautee onions, carrots and olive oil in pot with drained beans. Sautee for 10 minutes, then add white wine and lemon zest.
Tie rosemary and thyme together with butcher twine. Add to pot along with bay leaf
Cook covered for two hours, stirring occasionally. Add more stock if it dries out. If it seems like it is too soupy, you will be able to reduce the liquid with lid off at the end of cooking.
3 very ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic
on a cookie sheet, set tomato slices (one inch thick) about 3 inches apart
slice garlic clove very thin and put a slice of the clove on top of each tomato.
Sprinkle with olive oil and salt.
Roast for 3o minutes at 400 degrees.
Take out of oven, let cool.
Use spatula to remove tomato slices. Coarsely chop and add to top of bean servings.
One large bunch Dino Kale
glug olive oil
Remove stems from kale. I do this by just running my hand down the stalk while ripping the leaves away. Use a knife to chop kale into 2 inch pieces.
In a nonstick or castiron skillet, heat olive oil and add kale. Turn to coat olive oil and add pinch of salt. Cook until very wilted, about 10 minutes. Set aside in bowl.
When beans are cooked and the sauce in the beans looks thick like gravy, add the kale and any extra salt to taste.
Spoon into bowls and top with roasted tomatoes.