Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Butter Beans with Sweet Peppers and Tomato

 Found in the garden: Sweet Italian heirloom peppers, tomatoes, flat-leaf parsley
Found in the cupboard: Red Bhutanese rice, butter beans
Found in self: A lazy summer reluctance to go anywhere near the store

Solution: Quick, easy, and delicious—variation #1,304 on rice and beans

Serve this over rice, orzo, or even polenta. Perfect for a night when you want something that tastes gourmet but can throw itself together in twenty minutes.

Olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
1/3 cup chopped sweet pepper (bell or heirloom)
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 oz fresh mild greens, chopped (e.g., chard, amaranth, and/or spinach)
1 can butter beans, mostly drained
1 handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped*
1 tomato, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese

Heat a glug of olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Saute shallot until it softens, then add the pepper and saute a minute more. Stir in the garlic and a pinch of salt (unless your beans are already highly salted) and continue to cook for another minute or two, then fold in the greens and saute until wilted.

Add the beans, stir, and simmer 2-3 minutes, covering the pan if it starts to get dry. Toss in the parsley, tomato, and another pinch of salt, cook for another minute to heat through, and turn off the heat. Serve layered over rice or pasta, and top with pepper and a little grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 2.

*Like any fresh herb that isn't from a supermarket, the amount you want will depend on the particular bunch. Bite into a leaf. If it's potent (young and recently-picked), use a small handful. If it's very mild (older and picked awhile ago), use a larger handful. Or just start with a small handful and adjust to taste as you cook.

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