This is one of my favorite basic recipes. I use these white beans in salads with tuna, in pasta, and often as a main dish … they’re almost to good to serve as a side! A couple of notes: 1) use any kind of white bean you want for this–just be aware you may need to adjust the cooking time depending on type of bean; 2) these freeze really well, so bag up whatever you don’t eat right away to have on hand; and 3) you can use all water or any combination of water and whatever kind of broth you might have on hand–vegetable, chicken, mushroom, whatever–adding broth adds flavor.
Fregola is an Italian rolled pasta similar to Israeli couscous, and it’s wonderfully toothsome in this summer salad. Think of it as a new twist on old-school pasta salad. If you can’t find fregola (or wanted to go gluten free), millet would be a great substitute. Top with a few chunks of good quality tuna packed in olive oil (unless you want to keep it vegan) and you’ve got a nice, hearty, nourishing meal.
This baked beans recipe is an (updated) old Mack family favorite. Now, it’s one of the staples our friends look forward to at Huber gatherings. It has a long list of “goes with” … hot dogs, hamburgers, roast pork, barbecued chicken. You name it. Honestly, these baked beans make a meal in and of themselves. They also freeze really well, which makes them ideal to pull out for camping or ski trips, when we know we’ll be feeding a crowd.
Perked up with chard and Italian sausage, this white bean soup recipe straddles the line between fresh and green and rich and hearty. So much so, in fact, that it would be perfectly appropriate in any season.
The barbecue of Santa Maria, Calif., is famous for delicious smoked tri-tip, and it’s always accompanied by a pot of pinquito beans. This legume, a cross between white and pinto beans, is grown only in the Santa Maria Valley. You can order them online, use standard pintos or experiment with other varieties of heirloom beans, such as Eye of Goat (which I used here) or Yellow Indian Woman. Using a pressure cooker yields tender beans that hold their shape in about a third of the usual cooking time. If you don’t have one, soak the legumes overnight and cook them in simmering water for 2 hours or until tender. Cooking time will vary, depending on the size and age of the beans. Use any leftovers to make kick-ass burritos the next day.
Dal is an Indian cuisine comfort-food standby made with lentils, dried beans or peas. Tarka is a technique in which spices are sauteed in fat to magnify their flavor. And as we learned from spice guru Monica Bhide, you’ll enjoy even more vivid flavor if you grind whole spices. Depending on your choice of cooking fat and stock, you can make this a vegan, dairy-free or gluten-free. Prepare the tarka and raita while the lentils simmer. Serve this dal with brown basmati rice, roasted cauliflower and our Fennel and Mint Raita.
Several things conspired to make this lentil soup–an overabundance of bacon in the fridge, some leftover juniper berries and a yen for soup on the chilly evening. Lentils and pork are a classic combination, and after consulting Niki Segnit’s The Flavor Thesaurus, I found that juniper berries (which I don’t use often) also have an affinity with pork. Deglazing the pan with a splash of sherry deepens the flavor while the juniper berries lend a bright counterpoint.
Spaghetti squash is easy to prepare, and it forms pasta-like strands when you rake the cooked squash with a fork. Sage provides the anchor for a hearty winter pesto that pairs beautifully with the squash and white beans; prep the pesto while the squash roasts. (I also love spaghetti squash with our Easy All-Purpose Tomato Sauce.) Serve as a side dish or with crusty bread for a meatless winter dinner.
Making a big ole pot of hoppin John is New Year’s Day tradition in the South and features two good-luck foods to start the new year: pork and legumes. Our version calls for brown basmati rice so you’ll start the year with a healthy whole grain (and because the rice swells as it cooks, it’s also thought to boost prosperity). This time of year, you can find containers of presoaked black-eyed peas in the produce section of many supermarkets. You also can substitute 2 cups cooked peas or thawed frozen peas. Serve with our Quick Collards (due to their color, greens are thought to bring money in the new year) and Skillet Corn Bread with Tomatoes and Sage.
In a week exploring the power of “no,” I thought I’d give you something to say “yes” to: this easy, flavorful (and kid-friendly) edamame spread. Serve it as an appetizer with toasted baguette slices or whole-grain crackers. It’s great on sandwiches, too.
2 cups frozen edamame beans (green soybeans) (removed from pod)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook edamame for 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to a food processor.
Add garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano and lemon juice to the bowl and process until smooth. Drizzle in olive oil and blend until emulsified. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and spoon into a serving bowl or onto toasted baguette slices.