06 February, 2012

White Beans With Celery | The New York Times

Martha Rose Shulman was inspired by a Greek recipe from Diane Kochilas’s The Glorious Foods of Greece that calls for giant white beans and about three times as much olive oil. She says, 'The celery retains a little crunch, which contrasts nicely with the soft beans.'

White Beans With Celery ingredients
Makes 4 servings
1/2-LB (about 1 1/8 cups) white beans, rinsed, picked over and soaked for 6 hours or overnight in 1-QT 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-oz) can tomato sauce, or 2 Tbsp 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

Notes:  The beans will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. You may want to thin them out with a little water or broth.

Drain the beans; 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, then cover and simmer until the beans are just tender, about 45 minutes to 1-hour. Do not let the beans boil hard or they’ll fall apart before they’re cooked through.

Heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil over Medium heat in a large skillet; add the celery and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until it just begins to soften, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic. Stir together for a minute, until the garlic is fragrant, and remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

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 1 hour, or until the beans are soft and creamy.

Uncover the beans, stir, and add salt and pepper to taste. Add a Tbsp 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.

View original recipe.

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