Recipes

Cauliflower with Cassoulet Beans and Capers

Main Dishes Sides Vegetarian

Cauliflower with Cassoulet Beans and Capers

I somehow landed a copy of Omar Allibhoy’s Spanish Made Simple and while I wasn’t expecting much, several of the recipes have become favorites. It’s good! It isn’t a definitive guide to the Spanish kitchen by any means, but there’s fine inspiration for home cooks and dishes you don’t see all the time. The Coliflor con Ajos Vinagre y Alcaparras recipe has been served at my place several times and of course I feel compelled to improvise. I roasted the cauliflower instead of boiling it and what’s a good dish without beans? The addition of cooked white beans makes this...

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Cooking Basic Beans in the Rancho Gordo Manner

Sides Videos

 

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Carrot and Mayocoba Soup

Soups

Carrot and Mayocoba Soup

  As always, some of the best dishes come from trying to use up leftovers. I’ve been on a carrot kick. I like them. I want to love them, but they tend to go bad before I can finish them. I was determined not to let that happen this time! Ingredients ¼ pound pancetta, cubed 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus about a spoonful to garnish 1 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme) 2 bunches of carrots (approx 1.5 to 2 pounds), peeled and chopped 3 cups chicken or...

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Arugula, Fennel, Garbanzo and Shrimp Salad

Salads

Arugula, Fennel, Garbanzo and Shrimp Salad

After seeing a video of Asian shrimp being injected with some gross substance so that they’ll weigh more, I’ve turned to wild caught shrimp, both fresh and frozen. Happily, they’re more readily available and they taste much better. If you wanted to drop the shrimp, this is still a great salad combination, inspired by a recipe from Laura Giannatempo’s A Ligurian Kitchen: Recipes and tales from the Italian Riviera. The original recipe has you grilling shrimp and indeed you should, if that’s handy. I gently pan sauteed shrimp in tons of garlic with olive oil and added them to the...

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Pasta e Fagioli with Escarole

Main Dishes Vegetarian

Pasta e Fagioli with Escarole

Escarole is a rare and exotic vegetable for me. I'd been scared off with stories about its bitterness and frankly, there were plenty of other things to eat that struck me as more appealing. My greengrocer had it, I bought and now I had to use it. It looks like a head of butter lettuce and it is, as promised, somewhat bitter. On its own, it's unappealing but wilted by tossing in warm pasta, it's just great. You can go heavier on the beans if you like. For me, this is a pasta dish with beans and escarole. Ingredients 2...

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Royal Coronas with Italian Salsa Verde

Salsas and Sauces Sides Vegetarian

Royal Coronas with Italian Salsa Verde

This is one of those recipes where the title is basically the recipe. Wonderful big, fat white beans topped with an intense green sauce. I would recommend Royal Coronas but Alubia Blanca or Cassoulet beans would serve you just as well. Ta da. To make Italian salsa verde: Pound a clove of garlic with some salt and make a paste. Add chopped fresh sage and flat-leaf parsley (about 3 parts sage to one part parsley) and continue pounding as you add really good olive oil. I use a mortar and pestle but you could also use a mini food processor. I...

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Wild Rice, White Beans and Tomatoes

Salads Vegetarian

Wild Rice, White Beans and Tomatoes

As the best tomatoes of summer are winding down, I've been continuing my obsession with macerated heirloom tomatoes. I've been tossing them with fresh mozzarella over pasta and last night I made this very simple composed salad. Use leftovers or make the components especially for this dish: wild rice, macerated tomatoes, and creamy white beans such as Cassoulet or Alubia Blanca. This recipe is for one serving, but you can easily scale up the recipe if you are serving more people. Ingredients: 1 large heirloom tomato, cubed 2 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling Salt and freshly ground pepper to...

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Cecilina: Italian Chickpea Dip

Appetizers

Cecilina: Italian Chickpea Dip

I saw this recipe in the old Dried Beans and Grain book from the the seminal Good Cook series by Richard Olney with Jeremiah Towers, among others. It seemed a little strange and forgotten and that’s very appealing to me. And it used two cups of cooked garbanzos. I love garbanzos but when I cook a pot, sometimes it seems like too much of a good thing. I love hummus. I love Caldo Tlapeño. But what do you do with that last bit? The recipe has you process the beans in a food mill or food processor. I love my...

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Slow-Baked Garbanzos

clay pot cooking Main Dishes Sides Vegetarian

Slow-Baked Garbanzos

One of my favorite books from the last years has been The Blue Zones (National Geographic, 2008) by Dan Buettner. Statistics for longevity are examined and there are some not so surprising conclusions reached, my favorite being that those of us lucky enough to make it to the old folks stage tend to eat beans. The Greek Island of Ikaria is mentioned a lot and it’s referred to as the place where people forget to die. Citizens work, garden, eat whole foods, little meat and of course eat beans (and drink wine.) Works for me. Diane Kochilas’ book on the...

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Runner Bean and Raw Asparagus Salad

Salads Vegetarian

Runner Bean and Raw Asparagus Salad

Like almost everyone else, I have been enamored with Joshua McFadden's cookbook, Six Seasons. At first I resisted. Seasonal market cooking. Really? Again? Yes, really. The story is the seasons but in the end, it's simply a great book for people who find the produce section the most interesting part of food shopping. The recipes are simple and straightforward without a lot of chef-y pretense and my copy, less than a year old, is filthy from use. Splattered with some really good memories. One of my favorite recipes has been this raw asparagus salad, tarted up by me with some...

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Rancho Gordo Pozole Blanco

Posoles

Rancho Gordo Pozole Blanco

There are many versions of pozole but one of my favorites is Pozole Blanco. Unlike other pozoles where chiles are a part of the broth, Blanco is broth, meat and hominy and the heat comes from salsa on the table, to be added by the diner. This means you need a really great broth, the kind you can only get by making it yourself. Traditionally, you’d have red chile powder, Mexican oregano and limes for serving but I love the purity and freshness of the Chile Manzano Salsa and there’s plenty of oregano in both the broth and the salsa....

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Requeson with Epazote

Main Dishes Sides Videos

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