Sweet white beans

After a few days of awful cold and dampness, here it is, finally - my favourite time of the year, those few weeks of golden sunlight mingling with the ruby and copper leaves as they fall on the ground, of cocoon sweaters in deep colors worn on the walks I go for to enjoy the balmy weather, of long, lazy evenings with countless cups of chai tea and too many extra helpings during supper - where I’m staying now we’re actually having suppers, not dinners. Conversations linger for hours when you don’t worry about your food getting cold. 

The foodstands, or trucks with produce to be precise, that they have here on every street corner are now tempting with shelled nuts and mushrooms of all sorts instread of arrays of jewel-like berries, and I’ve too noticed a change of appetite. After months of living on raw cucumber and tomato salads, I want to fill my plate with different colors: pumpkin, buckwheat, corn are all back in regular rotation. But sometimes there is no oven in reach to make a tray of my beloved roasted roots, or no blender to make creamy comfort soups, or simply no time to wait for lentils to soften. But never have I ever come across an obstacle to making a bowl of sweet white beans. 

white beans

White Beans in Agave and Rosemary

(original recipe: Jadlonomia)

Ingredients:

(serves 2)

 

1 can white beans, about 250g

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp agave

1 tsp dried rosemary, or 1 tbsp fresh 

1 tsp balsamic vinegar 

salt, pepper 

How to:

Rinse and drain the beans. Spread them in a single layer on paper towels and pat them until completely dry. Add the oil to a frying pan, raise the heat to high, and add the beans. What you want to get is a crunchy outside, so it’s best to not move them around the pan too often.

Once the beans turn golden-brown, 5-7 minutes, add the agave and rosemary, toss to coat evenly and let cook for another 2 minutes until the beans are covered with sticky syrup. Add the vinegar, a generous amount of pepper, and some salt, although I personally never find the last one necessary here. 

I like to serve those with some cooked, slightly tart veg, especially with red cabbage or beetroot leaves.

 

Sauteed Beetroot Leaves

Ingredients:

(serves 2)

 

1 bunch beetroot leaves, with stalks and all

1 tbsp oil

1 garlic clove 

1 tsp balsamic vinegar 

a pinch of both salt and sugar

How to:

Chop the leaves and stalks into 1cm chunks, saving the (most probably found) baby beetroots for some other time. Place the oil to a frying pan and keep that on medium heat. Add the stalks and leaves and stir to prevent the leaves from burning. Add minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, adding a tablespoon or two of water if the pan looks dry. Season with the vinegar, salt and sugar.

 
white beans closeup