Monday, February 7, 2011

Slow-baked beans: Whoa!

A friend recently sent me a recipe that was published in the New York Times.  Because he reads my blog, and wishes he had more time to cook, I decided to make this dish just for him.  ...Also it sounded amazing. Raj, a med student at Yale, has a mother who is an amazing cook and a maker of epic pies.  After eating all that tasty food, I trust his culinary suggestions.  And as I sit here writing and burning my mouth on molten beans, I'm here to tell you that it was totally worth it.

This recipe, vegan in its entirety, is exactly the thing I would expect someone who is intellectual and also vegetarian to eat.  Indeed, what an intellectual dish.  Nourishing, healthy, simple and delicious.  Not to mention economical.

Often times, I use recipes as guidelines and create my own version. However, I wanted to make this one exactly as written.  Safeway, as it seems, wanted to thwart me.  They were out of kale (!), so I decided to substitute fresh spinach.  I also had an early relative casserole dish which wasn't up to the capacity of the recipe, so in the end, I made 3/4 of the actual recipe, leaving a bucket of half-soaked lima beans on my counter.

I upped the temperature to 300 degrees.  Apartment ovens are not famously accurate, and I'm sure mine runs a bit cool.  Also I don't believe ANYTHING can cook at 225 degrees.  That's only 55 degrees hotter than a sauna, and people can survive in that.  

The beans turn creamy, the herbs are delicious, and everything melds together so nicely.  Definitely worth the three hours. Make it on a weekend or ahead of time and heat it up later.

Bean casserole doesn't photograph particularly beautifully...

The Recipe:  Slow-Baked Beans with Kale