Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Garlic Rosemary Bean Salad
I have really grown to appreciate beans in recent months. Partially for their versatility, and partially for how inexpensive they are for a Main Ingredient. The beans themselves come in all sorts of varieties, and you can buy them dried or canned with similar success. They're incredibly good for you, and they are pretty tasty too.
We had a potluck luncheon at work today and this bean salad was my contribution. It's meant to be served warm, but I served it at room temperature and it was really delicious. There were many more decadent dishes on the table, and my beans went somewhat ignored, I'm sorry to say. But those who knew what was good for them (literally) tried it and I received compliments from those noble few.
It seems like there is an insane amount of garlic in this salad, but take my word for it - you want the garlic. You need the garlic. And if you have rosemary growing in your garden (or your front deck, if you're like me and don't have the luxury of a garden) this is a great use for it.
Feel free to substitute the bean(s) of your choice, but I'd recommend that at least half of them be white beans.
Garlic Rosemary Bean Salad
adapted from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper
serves 6 as a side dish
1/2 slice crusty bread, preferably whole grain
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
5 large garlic cloves, crushed with a pinch of salt and coarse chopped
1/4 cup good quality EVOO
2 springs fresh rosemary, leaves coarsely chopped
one 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
one 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
additional salt and pepper to taste
1. Start with the topping - coarsely grind the bread into bread crumbs using a food processor. Toast in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat until the crumbs are lightly browned, stirring often. Transfer to a small bowl to cool. When cooled, add parmesan and pepper, and stir to combine.
2. In the same pan, heat the EVOO and garlic gently over low heat for about 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the rosemary and cook for another minute or so, stirring frequently. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
3. When garlic is fragrant and beginning to soften, gently add the drained beans. Toss very gently with a spatula or spoon, coating the beans with the oil, garlic and rosemary. Be careful not to squish any of the beans. Cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Pour the bean mixture into a casserole or other serving dish, and sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture. Serve warm or room temperature.
This could be a main dish over a bed of greens, or a side dish alongside fish, chicken, or just about anything. It's simple and delicious. Enjoy!