Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Broccoli Rabe, Navy Beans, and Mushrooms

I love Mark Bittman, The Minimalist, and columnist for the New York Times. At the beginning of the year he wrote a column about kitchen must haves which inspired and convinced me to toss aside canned beans in favor of dried. Canned beans are pretty cheap, convenient, and allow me to make meals very quickly. At times, I find the texture questionable especially of kidney and cannellini beans, and the liquid is just kind of weird.

So I purchased a bag of dried navy beans, cheaper than canned. I soaked them over night which actually requires forethought, and then cooked them in the pressure cooker for 20 to 25 minutes with salt, and they were AWESOME. The texture was so different, cooked but firm, not mushy. And they did not fall apart when I tossed them in salads or in this dish.

This Minimalist is right again, they taste SO much better.

- 1 cup navy beans (soaked over night)
- 1 head of broccoli rabe
- 1/2 pound or more mushrooms
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 3 cloves (or to your taste) of garlic
- 1 cup bean liquid (the liquid the beans were cooked in)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 to 4 T olive oil

First, I have to say I made this recipe as I went so the ingredient list was really to taste, a kind of a fly by the seat of my pants thing.

Soak beans over night, and then cook in the pressure cooker for about 20 to 25 minutes. I added 5 times the water than beans (so for 1 cup of beans, cook in 5 cups of water). Add salt to the water. If you forget the overnight soak, cook for 1.5 hours. Be sure to save some liquid from the beans.

In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil, add broccoli rabe and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how tender you like your greens. Drain well, and then roughly chop.

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots, cooking until golden. Add mushrooms and garlic, cook until mushrooms are browned. Add chopped broccoli rabe and cooked navy beans. If a little dry, add some of the saved liquid. Taste for salt. Add pepper, and then serve.

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