All posts tagged: beans

White Bean Dip with Three Lemons

On a recent trip the farmers market, I started exploring a stall filled with potted plants: mostly flowers and herbs.  I found myself sooooo wishing I had a home garden.  How many times have I had to pay $2.99 for a bunch of fresh rosemary or thyme for a recipe, only to use a few pieces and have to discard the rest, only to have to buy it again a month later for another recipe.  If only I had a garden!  Then I could plant all of the herbs I wanted and enjoy them whenever I needed them with a quick snip outside.  Nothing would be wasted.  Meanwhile, I have wanted to buy lemon thyme for a long time.  It always smells so bright and sweet and filled with citrus joy.  I knew I wanted to find a good recipe that would let it shine.  So when I spotted the lemon thyme plant, I thought: I can do this.  I will try to keep this pot, this living thing, in my one-bedroom Manhattan apartment.  The …

White Bean, Bacon, and Pork Soup with Thyme

  When life gives you leftover pork chops, make this wonderfully silky and rich soup.  I have actually made this soup twice: once with the addition of leftover pork chops and once with the recipe as is (except without carrots as I didn’t have any on hand.)  Both had wonderful results.  But the addition of leftover pork chops (or any leftover pork you have) adds another dimension of flavor and umph.  The soup becomes a meal in itself.  I ended up topping each bowl of soup with some grated parmesan which added even more richness and bite.  Super delicious. I started by soaking the beans overnight.  Please don’t skip this step and substitute canned beans.  Here’s why.  When you cook with dried beans that have been soaked, they still have a lot of firmness to them.  As they cook in the soup and soften, they release their starch–which thickens the soup. After chopping thick bacon into lardons, I placed them in a lightly olive oiled cast iron pot.  Once browned, I removed the bacon and …

Fava Bean Crostini with Mint and Pecorino

When fava beans start arriving in farmers markets and gourmet grocery stores, you know that Spring is in full bloom.  They’re bright green and look like giant green beans. When you tear them open, these neat lima-bean-looking beans emerge, with little yellow bits holding them onto their pods. The fava bean is encased in a shell that is easily peeled away after about 3-5 minutes in boiling, salted water, and then plunged into a quick ice bath.  The ice bath shrinks the gorgeous bean inside, making the shell separate away.  A quick slit of your knife is all it takes.  The best way to enjoy fresh fava beans is simply… and in this case taking a cue from Martha, I like to prepare them with some mint from the garden and freshly shaved pecorino cheese.  A little salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil, and this beautiful puree emerges. I serve the fava bean puree on freshly toasted crostini.  The result is so fresh and cheerful. It will make you want to hold onto Spring as …