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It is a winter wonderland out there today! And while the weather outside might be frightful…  I’m lucky to be coming to you *LIVE* from my comfy, cozy couch with a big ole [delightful] bowl of creamy, filling….bean-filled … ragout?

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Didn’t see that coming, did ya? haha

After scanning the pantry  and stumbling across a recipe for Butter Bean Ragout from Bon Appetit, I knew exactly what I was wanted to make. For one, their photo of the dish is gorgeous (I’m a sucker for some food porn)… but also, all of the ingredients were ones I had in the house… and I’m always down for a good pantry or fridge clean-out recipe!

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Once I gave the recipe a look, I did know I wanted to make a few changes.. namely cut the time with some canned beans (versus using dried) and reduce the amount of oil used… because well, almost 2 cups is … a lot! I also upped the amount of fennel because I love it. The recipe below is modified from the original, which you can find at Bon Appetit.

The result? A creamy, comforting, veggie-filled dish with a punch of freshness and bite from the parsley and garlic. I enjoyed mine with a sprinkle of hot red pepper flakes on top as well.

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Butter Bean Ragout

Perfect for a cold winter day.


Recipe modified from the July 2015 issue of Bon Appetit.

Ingredients

  • 4 15.5 oz. cans of butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped (remove and discard green fronds)
  • 1/4 large celery root (celeriac), peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups pieces spinach, chopped
  • ½ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°.

Then, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-low. Add chopped onion, fennel, celery root, garlic clove and celery; bay leaves and 1 tsp. salt to skillet, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft but haven’t taken on any color, approximately 15–20 minutes. Once cooked, remove and discard bay leaves.

Place drained and rinsed beans in a large pot and add cold water to cover the beans by 1/2″. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, occasionally skimming surface, until beans are warmed through and easily smashed with the back of a spoon. Season with salt and stir in 1/4 cup oil. Once beans are heated through, mix cooked vegetables into cooked beans.

Purée 3 cups bean and veggie mixture and liquid in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy (be careful pureeing hot liquids!); stir puree back into bean mixture. Then, stir in spinach and season with salt.

Pour ragout into a 3-qt. baking dish and bake in a 400 degree oven until bubbly and the top is browned, about 30–35 minutes (depending on how much water you used, this could take longer). Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Keep in mind, the ragout will thicken as it sits and cools.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend parsley, 1 clove of garlic, and 1/4 cup oil. Cover and set aside. Don’t have a food processor? You could try mortar and pestle or even just finely chop and mix with oil! Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium-high and toast panko breadcrumbs until golden brown. Keep a close eye on them, this happens fast!

Serve ragout drizzled with parsley and garlic  and topped with toasted panko.


Couple of notes:

  • beans8.jpgSeason as you go! It’s beans so they definitely need some help! While you want to make sure you don’t end up with a SALTY dish, seasoning is definitely important!
  • Speaking of beans — you can use any bean you want! I really love the large butter beans but any other bean you like or have would definitely work here!
  • I’d never used celery root before this recipe! While it looks intimidating, it was actually very easy to cut and peel! Just break out your regular ole vegetable peeler — no special equipment needed. I plan to use my leftover for some oven roasted celery root “fries”. If you don’t want to use, or can’t find celery root (aka celeriac) — the recipe suggests that you can sub in carrots.
  • This definitely thickens up as leftovers — if you’re reheating and it seems too thick — just add a splash of water into whatever you’re heating and it’ll loosen it up!
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cure for the common… cake

What do you do when you end up with a surplus of kumquats taking up space in your fridge?kumquat.jpg

Sure, you could certainly… well, just eat them. Delicious, sweet and sour, and packed with awesome health benefits, including essential oils and fiberpotassiumcalciumvitamin C, beneficial fats, and vitamin A. Some of those benefits include aiding digestion (they pack a whopping 10g of fiber per 8 kumquats); boosting immunity (perfect for flu season!) and skin, hair and vision health..  and more!

Instead of only eating the small produce section that’s been accumulating in my fridge, I got to Googling and stumbled on a delicious-sounding cake from Carroll Pellegrenellion The Spruce: Tangy Kumquat Bundt Cake with Kumquat Glaze

The use of a kumquat puree really intrigued me – I love that the entire fruit is edible!

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The result? A super-moist, tangy and delicious cake with awesome texture from the almonds (though you could certainly leave out if you prefer or have a nut allergy).

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Now, excuse me while I go grab another slice…

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Kumquat Bundt Cake with Glaze

  • Servings: 16
  • Print


Credit: thespruce.com

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (ground)
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar (granulated)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-3/4 cups kumquat (seeded, pureed, divided)** NOTE: For me, this was equal to approximately 2 pints of whole kumquats, pureed
  • 1 cup almonds (sliced, very lightly toasted)
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 cup sugar (powered)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

    For the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toast almond slices, if needed.
  2. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt cake pan or 12-1 cup mini bundt cake pans.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and ground ginger with a wire whisk.
  4. In a large bowl, cream 1/2 cup butter and the granulated sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each egg. Beat the egg mixture until well combined. 5. Finally, beat in the 1-1/2 cups Kumquat Puree .
  5. Once combined, start to gradually add the flour mixture. Completely incorporate the flour into the kumquat mixture.
  6. With your hands, crush 1/2 cup of the almonds. Hand stir in the nuts into the cake batter. Carefully pour the Kumquat Bundt Cake batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes until cake tester is clean. Cool it in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and completely cool it before adding the glaze.
  8. For the glaze:
  9. To make the glaze, melt and cool remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
  10. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, 1/4 cup remaining pureed kumquats, all of the powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice. Stir the mixture until sugar is completely melted. Add a little water, if necessary to get a better drizzling consistency.
  11. Once the proper consistency is acquired, drizzle the glaze on the Kumquat Bundt Cake.
  12. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup (un-crushed) almond slices on top.

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A couple of notes on  my experience with this recipe, first — it took approximately 2 pints of kumquats to make the amount of puree needed for this recipe. And while, seeding and pureeing 2 pints of these little buggers might seem tedious…it’s worth it, IMO. The easiest way I found to remove the seeds without making a huge mess and losing any of that precious juice (or also losing my mind), was to cut all of the kumquats in half and then place a small strainer over the bowl of my food processor and SQUEEEEEZE. The seeds pop out rather easily (usually 3-4 a fruit) – and that way you’re keeping all that juice and pulp for the puree. 

Additionally, I tried this as a large bundt this time around and it took just over 50 minutes to cook through so I can’t comment on how long the tiny bundts might take. If you go that route, I’d suggest testing them earlier rather than later — better safe than sorry! Either way, the puree gives a lot of moisture to this cake — so could be potentially pretty forgiving.