Saturday, August 11, 2012
Fresh flageolet beans are apparently hard to come by, but if you live in California, you just might come across some in a farmer's market this summer. We found them in our CSA box this week, with a warning to cook them immediately (they apparently spoil quickly). Since they're French, we figured they deserved French treatment. This recipe (loosely adapted from here) has just a hint of butter and cream, but all the rich flavor of French cooking.
2 cups fresh flageolet beans
1 tbsp or so pasture butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 small to medium garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Splash chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2-3 tbsp half & half or heavy cream
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Add the beans and a couple pinches of salt, turn down the heat, and simmer for 4-5 minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add a glug of olive oil and a small pat of butter, then stir in the shallot and carrot with a pinch of salt. Saute for about 3 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally and turning the heat down slightly halfway through.
Add the garlic, saute for another minute or two, then add the thyme and parsley and saute a minute more. Next, add the beans and stir to coat. Cook for another minute, then add a splash of broth and stir. Simmer gently until the liquid has mostly steamed off. Turn off the heat, add another small pat of butter and let it melt, and stir in the cream. Sprinkle with salt and white pepper to taste, and serve hot. (If the flavors don't pop out at you when you take your first bite, it means it's undersalted—add another pinch of salt until it brings out the butter and garlic and thyme.)
Serves 2 for a hearty lunch with some crusty bread, or 4 alongside bread, cheese, and a salad.