Wednesday, April 13, 2011

beans, beans, the musical fruit.

The only reason I'm even posting this quasi recipe* is that these beans were RAVED over by two lovely ladies at two separate dinner parties that we hosted in the last couple of weeks. (Yes, I serve beans at dinner parties.  I'm fancy like that.)  Both friends asked for the recipe.  One I saw at the park a few days later, promptly told me she'd been dreaming about "my beans."  The other texted to tell me that she couldn't stop thinking about "my beans."  Well, if "my beans" are that damn good, I guess I should share.  Fair warning, these beans are a slow process, which can be good or bad, depending on your outlook.  Like a lot  in life, yes?

Super Easy White Beans, Scrumptious Style
1 bag of small dried white beans (any kind will do, I used great northern white beans.)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, small chop
3 cloves garlic, minced (I use more.)
1 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons cumin
4 cups vegetable broth  (You can also use chicken.)
For garnish: lemon juice, salt and pepper, olive oil

Rinse and soak beans overnight in 6 cups of water.  Cover the bottom of a large soup pot with olive oil and heat over medium.  When oil is hot, add onion and stir, cooking for one minute.  Reduce heat to low and saute the heck out of the onions until they are super soft (not brown) and begin to "melt" into the olive oil, about 15 minutes. You'll need to stir them occasionally.  Add minced garlic and saute one more minute.  Stir in salt and cumin.  Add beans and vegetable broth.  Mix well and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and walk away.  Come back every now and then to stir.  You'll know by looking at them and tasting them when they are done.  Most of the broth will be absorbed and the beans will be quite soft, mushy even.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve with lemon wedges or just squeeze a lemon or two over the beans before serving.  To me, the lemon juice is a make it or break it item, but I have a weird obsessed love affair with lemons and should really plant a tree.  A swirl of really good olive oil over the top is also delish.

More on when they are done:
I've left the house, the stove on low, lid on the pot for hours on end, and these beans, well, they are just fine.  You can't really mess them up.  If you want them to cook faster, take the lid off the pot.  I usually do this for the last 10 minutes, especially if it seems like the beans haven't absorbed what I deem as enough of the liquid.

Variations on a theme:
You can add any spice and/or herbs you want.  We have rosemary growing all over our yard, so when I'm in the mood I add that and omit the cumin.  I bet a bay leaf or two would be good.  Or basil.  Spice it up with red pepper.  Let me know what you do!

 {so many scrumptious things start this way}

 {cumin, how i love thee.}

{i do feel a little sorry for beans.  among other things, they aren't very photogenic.}

*All my recipes are quasi, unless I steal them from someone else.  I'm not a good measurer or timer as this "recipe" can attest to!  Sorry.  I'm trying to get better at paying attention to those things as I trip over the fat 10 year old lab under foot, carry around the "hold you momma" two year old, listen to the genius 6 year old read and mentally plan my outfits for my weekend away with Sparky.  xo


  1. I just appreciate this so much b/c I am always looking for new vegetarian recipes. I would eat this with rice and I would maybe throw in some cilantro!

  2. Yum. I wish I had a more entertaining comment but I don't. Just yum. Yum yum.

  3. Yes, I know that without a doubt, if I was a guest at either dinner party... I'd be texting you as well. I can just tell that these are myyyyyyyyy kinda recipe (as most of yours are).

    LOVE making beans from scratch, and I'm seriously- after I write this, heading into the kitchen to see what beans I have on hand. "Fancy" dishes like this, are my favorite dishes that my grandma makes... and my favorite kinda dinner parties.

    A weekend away?? Where to??

  4. I love your sense of humor so much. you always make me laugh even if your not trying to ! These beans look so delicious. I love making beans from scratch. My hubby grew up on canned beans (shame shame on MIL- LOL!) so he thinks it is just magical when i do them the good old fashion way! Your recipe looks perfect

  5. ooh, fantastic recipe and can't wait to try it!! I adore beans, and love, love cumin SO this looks like it will be SO tasty. xx veronika

  6. This is beyond coincedental. I have a running joke with my mom about beans. I once had to attend a pot-luck situation and asked my mom what to bring. She said, "beans". I was like, "Mooooooooooooom. Beans are not a party food!" But in reality, who doesn't love beans? Anyway, beans are the topic du jour again as my mom is making her yummy bean soup using left-over ham/bone from Easter. But I love your recipe and will def. be trying it. Happy to have found one another! xo

  7. Linked from Kitchen Belleicious. Always looking for recipes that are easy for a man to do. How often do you post them?

    Family Fountain

  8. Just popping in to say I hope everything is going well for you!


  9. It looks so delicious and simple to make! Great recipe! xoxoxoo

  10. making these too. #needyoutoblogagain