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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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Crunch Factor

We’ve all been there — craving something crunchy, something salty — sometimes even sweet. When you’re trying to be good (I mean, let’s be real, sometimes there is no substitution for some good ole potato chips), you can now find endless options of “better for you” snacks… I’m talking kale chips, edamame, chickpeas. Only problem is that 1.) Sometimes, other than some extra fiber, they’re really no better for you than a bag of crinkle cuts and 2.) They’re expensive as hell!

Earlier this week, I got together with my friend Delia for a day of cooking and food photos, and one of the things we made was a salad topped with some roasted chickpeas (Delish and on her blog now!).

Welp, needless to say I was inspired. They’ve been on my mind, and today I took the plunge. Best of all — this batch cost me a whopping cost of 89 cents … regardless of the cost of your can, I can guarantee it’s less than what they’re charging you in the snack aisle (and full of way less junk).

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What do you need?

  • A can of chickpeas (or soaked from dried — just follow the directions that come with your beans)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Any spices that tickle your fancy (in this case, I used to smoked paprika)

The process?

  • Preheat your oven to 375*
  • Drain your chickpeas, rinse and blot dry
  • Spray  your baking sheet with oil (make sure it’s a pan with a lip… don’t want these suckers rolling all over your oven)!
  • Place your beans on the sheet tray
  • Spray the top of the beans with additional cooking spray
  • Sprinkle salt & pepper (to taste)
  • Sprinkle spices (to taste, approximately 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika for this batch)
  • Roast until chickpeas are toasted and crunchy (approximately 35 minutes)
  • Remove from oven and let sit on the sheet tray to cool and crisp up

These probably won’t last too long (they didn’t in my house)– but, unlike some other healthy snack alternatives, these travel super well! Perfect for lunches, trips to the movies, travel, hiking — all that jazz!

Next up for me, trying a sweet alternative.

Now — get snackin’!