The thing is about fall, or spring, or summer, or winter is that I feel the need to cook; especially in fall, though, I want to produce soups, or beans, or stuff that I can eat warm at work. This, of course, makes no sense whatsoever due to the fact that I work where the average daily temp exceeds 75 degrees.
This recipe fit my day-to-day well mostly because one could currently find all ingredients in my pantry or refrigerator right now. Also, for that same fact, and for the fact that chef scolds me for not using all the food stuff I own. Really...no joke, he scolds. I know, I know...
You will need the following:
- 1/2 pound (about 1 1/8 cups) white beans, rinsed, picked over and soaked for six hours or overnight in 1 quart water
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 to 5 cups chopped celery, including the leaves
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce, or 2 tablespoons tomato paste diluted in 1 cup water
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley (to taste)
- Juice of 1 to 2 lemons, to taste
1. Drain the beans, and combine in a large saucepan with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, add salt to taste, cover and simmer until the beans are just tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. Do not let the beans boil hard or they’ll fall apart before they’re cooked through.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet, and add the celery and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until it just begins to soften, about three minutes, and add the garlic. Stir together for a minute, until the garlic is fragrant, and remove from the heat.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drain the beans over a bowl. Place in a large baking dish, preferably earthenware, and toss with the celery and garlic, the remaining olive oil and the tomato sauce or diluted tomato paste. Add enough of the drained broth to cover by an inch, and stir in the remaining olive oil. Cover the dish tightly with foil, and place in the oven. Bake one hour, or until the beans are soft and creamy.
4. Uncover the beans, stir, and add salt and pepper to taste. Add a tablespoon or 2 of lemon juice, or more if desired, and adjust salt and pepper. Serve hot, warm or room temperature, with a little more olive oil drizzled over the top if desired.
Per Mark Bittman, this recipe serves four.
Fall, today of all days.