You don't need much to make beans taste good, they already have that covered.
3 cans of navy or cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, grated
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
2 1/4 cups water
In your soup pot saute/cook the onion, garlic, carrot and salt and pepper in the olive oil until the onion is transparent.
Add the beans and 2 1/4 cups water, bring to a boil, then simmer covered a half hour to 40 minutes, until the beans start to lose their structure.
Turn off the heat and use your potato masher to break the beans up into a porridge like consistency.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, some cilantro, and sprinkle on some cayenne for some spice and color, and grate some fresh Parmesan cheese. This kind of soup really brings the taste of the Parmesan to the forefront. And it's a fun ritual.
Black beans, a few spices, raw onion and vinegar. Hard to beat.
3 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
One 8 oz, can tomato sauce
One small yellow onion, chopped
One small green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon each cumin seed, oregano, cayenne pepper and one teaspoon salt ground together in a mortar and pestle
2 cups water
Toppings: Chopped red onion, sour cream/Greek yogurt mixture, red wine vinegar
In your soup pot saute the onion, garlic and green pepper in the olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, beans and water, ground spices, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the beans begin to fall apart, 30 to 45 minutes.
Turn heat off and use a potato masher to thicken the soup into almost a puree.
Serve with the sour cream and red onions, and sprinkle liberally with red wine vinegar as you eat. It is hard to overdo it.
Sauteing the vegetables first makes this one pan pasta even better. The linguini absorbs the dense flavors as it cooks. You will need to pay attention to the ingredient amounts to make this work. The egg is a tasty option.
12 oz. linguine
12 oz. ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
One medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
One sprig or 4 to 5 large leaves basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 1/2 Teaspoons of salt
Ground black pepper
4 cups water
Fresh Parmesan for serving
Saute the chopped onion and minced garlic in the 4 tablespoons olive oil, then add the halved or quartered cherry tomatoes, chopped basil, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for ten to fifteen minutes or until the tomatoes dissolve, checking every 5 minutes or so to be sure the tomatoes are not sticking to the pan.
Turn the heat off, add the 4 cups water, and relax, maybe have that glass of wine.
When you are ready to go, break the linguini in half by bending the package over the edge of the counter top. Take 12 oz of the linguine, spread it in the pot and turn heat on high. Poke and prod the pasta while cooking to keep the strands separated.
Turn off the heat quickly when there is no more liquid bubbling in the pan, which should take 10 to 12 minutes. It will look as if there is too much liquid, but the water will be absorbed quickly at the end.
Top with a poached egg and serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
From James Beard to Craig Claiborne to here. No offense, but you have not lived until this bread comes out of the oven and settles down next to your Black Bean soup. A little under ten minutes of actual work to go from plain flour to greatness.
1 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons packaged dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 to 4 cups all purpose flour (buy a small 2 pound bag)
Use hot tap water to warm a mixing bowl ( I use a 9" Pyrex) for a few minutes.
When you are ready to start, turn the oven on "Keep Warm" and set the timer for 10 minutes.
Put one cup warm water in the warmed mixing bowl, add the sugar and salt, stir, add the yeast, stir,
then start adding flour straight from the bag, mixing with a wooden spoon.
Add flour and stir until the dough starts to form a ball and pulls away from the bowl. Use your floured hands to pull the dough off the spoon and start forming the dough into a ball, adding more flour as you need it.
Add a layer of flour to your cutting board/countertop, drop the ball of flour on it and start to push and pull the dough until you have a kind springy ball about the size of a small grapefruit. You will be adding sprinklings of flour while you knead.
Leave the ball of flour on the counter while you clean the bowl. Dry the bowl out, put a little olive oil in the bowl, spread it around with your fingers, put the dough in the bowl and turn it to coat with the olive oil.
Put a damp towel over the bowl.
The oven timer should go off about now. The oven needs to be warm , but not hot. You need a warm place (optimum temp is 80 to 85 degrees) to let the yeast work. Open the oven the whole way to let the hottest air out, put the bowl in the oven, shut the door, and wait one hour.
OK. When you open the oven an hour later, the dough should have about doubled in size. If so, dump it onto your floured surface, mold it a little, cut it in two, and shape the dough into round loaves or longish rolls, like French bread.
Put them on a parchment lined baking sheet, and let them rise for five minutes. Then slash the tops crosswise two or three times, and using a brush or paper towel, gently coat the tops with water.
Slip the baking pan into the oven, turn to 400 degrees, and wait 40 to 45 minute until the bread is crusty and brown. Take it out and serve it as soon as you can handle the loaves, only a few minutes.
If ever butter was put to better use, I'd like to know.
Raita is an cooling Indian side dish made with yogurt. This version is done with grated cucumbers.
Two small cucumbers, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, deseeded with a spoon, and grated with the 1/4" holes on your box grater.
2 cups plain yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix the lemon juice, mint, sugar, salt and yogurt with the cucumbers (squeeze some of the moisture out of the grated cucumber before adding to the other ingredients).
Let sit for a few hours in the refrigerator, stirring once if you remember. The flavors deepen and mellow.
Pretty, delicious, and only a little more work than plain rice.
One cup long grain rice
Two tablespoons olive oil
Teaspoon finely minced garlic
Teaspoon curry powder ( I use Sun Brand Madras)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Couple scallions, minced
One and a third cups water
Mix the rice, salt and curry powder in a cup. In your small pot heat the oil until hot and saute the garlic for ten seconds or so. Turn off heat. Dump in the rice mixture and quickly stir to coat the rice and heat the curry. Add the water, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, covered. Then turn off the heat and let the rice sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the scallions and serve.
If you like hands-on, this is fun. A pesto recipe you make in your mortar and pestle, courtesy of David Lebovitz.
Use it with Pasta, Potatoes, Pesto and Sugar Snap Peas
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups firmly packed basil leaves
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces grated Parmesan
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, walnuts, or shelled pistachios
Smash the garlic and salt together with your mortar and pestle until smooth. Coarsely chop the basil leaves and pound them into the garlic as you add them.
When they are well mashed, pound in the olive oil a spoonful at a time until incorporated. Pound in the grated cheese, then the nuts.
Continue to mash a few minutes until the pesto is as smooth as you can get it.
(Serve the pesto within a day or two, or freeze it. The garlic can become too strong otherwise)
Tom David Food Blog: Great vegetarian meals for two hungry people. Every one a winner.
Pasta, Garlic, Olive Oil and Eggs
Black Olive, Pasta and White Bean Salad
Beans with Pasta and Cherry Tomato
One Pan Pasta with Poached Egg
Rigatoni with Tomato and Arugula
Cold Arugula, Basil, Tomato with Hot Pasta
Greek Salad with Pasta and Spinach
Rice with Eggs and Scallions
Exotic Yellow Split Pea and Potato Soup
Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Dal
Cuban Black Bean Soup
Lentil and Rice Soup
Potato, Pasta and Peppers
Simple White Bean Soup
Tofu, Cabbage and Rice
Red Lentil Soup with Chipotle Peppers
Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)
One Pot Pasta Alfredo
Costa Rican Beans and Rice
Indian Spiced Red Bean"Masala" and Rice
Red and Black Bean Tortilla Bowl
Pasta, Pesto, Potatoes and Sugar Snap Peas
Corn, Bean and Pasta Summer Salad
Angel Hair Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Bell Peppers
Mushroom and Scallion Lo Mein
Chinese Tomatoes and Eggs
Carrot, Cheese, and Pickle Sandwich
Mortar and Pestle Pesto