Thursday, March 27, 2014

Week 12: Cranberry Beans

Catching up... last week's bean was Cranberry Beans.  Similar to pinto beans, but more bland. So bland than when I took a portion of the cooked beans and mashed them and made a small portion of "refries", they were utterly tasteless. That being said, in the below dish, they weren't bad. Just a super bland version of pinto beans. Consequently, going forward I'd simply use pintos (or cannellini or the flageolet beans from week 10, or the Dapple Grey that are on the stove right now, for week 13) for a recipe such as this one..

I actually remembered to soak these, overnight (after sorting and rinsing)!  

It's possible the original recipe would have been better (I omitted the oil and vinegar). Overall, I think a more flavorful bean would have made this significantly better. That being said it was good, and a wonderful New England early-spring dish, just the Cranberry Beans were so bland, I think a different bean would make it great.

Beans on Toast

  • 1 pound dried cranberry beans (or cannellini)
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • Few sprigs of thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped 
  • 1 small potato, peeled and halved 
  • 4 grape tomatoes
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

    • Sort, rinse and soak beans overnight. Rinse the next morning.
    • Add drained/soaked beans to a pot with thyme, bay leaves, dried rosemary, unpeeled garlic cloves, celery, potato and grape tomatoes. Cover by ~2" in water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until soft (~1 hour, give or take).
    • Once cooked, drain liquid, reserving enough to cover roughly halfway up the beans when added back.
    • Remove garlic, potato, grape tomatoes, thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
    • Squeeze garlic out of their skins and pinch off tomato skins. Mash the potato, garlic and tomatoes together, seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. Add back to the beans, along with liquid to cover halfway up the beans. Mix and warm.
    • Serve over toast, garnished with parsley.


    The original recipe called for sourdough bread, but I used "High Five" from Great Harvest Bread Company, partially because I thought the beans needed a more substantial bread to compliment them, and partially because I LOVE the great taste/all natural ingredients of bread from Great Harvest.

    I didn't get a picture after garnished with the parsley. It needed the boost of flavor.

    Have a great week!

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