Beans and Sides

Garlicky Cannellini Bean Dip

From A Superbowl to Remember

Makes about 2 cups 

Great with the crackers above, chips, crudités or spread on crusty bread with a drizzle of good olive oil and squeeze of lemon. It’s also pretty good for you, with more than a third less calories than the one with sour cream and onion soup mix.

  • 1 Can Cannellini Beans
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest
  • 1 ½ tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated (about ½ tsp) — If you grate garlic it’s MUCH more pungent so go easy
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 TBSP good olive oil (this is a great place to use a flavorful oil, since it won’t get cooked)
  • 1 ½ TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 small pinch red pepper flakes (about 1/8 tsp)
  • 1/3 cup fat free Greek yogurt

Drain the beans over a bowl so you have a little of the liquid if you need to loosen the dip a little in the processor. Add the beans and the rest of the ingredients except the yogurt into the bowl of a food processor and zap until smooth. Pour into a bowl and stir in the yogurt. Cover and stow in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors combine. You could make this a day ahead too. Since the flavors will continue to develop over time, don’t add more seasonings until you are just about ready to serve.

To serve, let the dip come to room temperature, then taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with a drizzle of flavorful olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Calories: 620 total, or about 80 calories per ¼ cup.


Stewed Tomatoes with Black Eyed Peas

From Making Luck

The majority of the work in this recipe (and it’s not much) is in making the stewed tomatoes. Then you just ladle out as much as you need to cook up the amount of beans you’re making. The basic ratio is 2 cups of tomatoes to ½ cup beans. If you don’t want to use the black-eyed peas, any other dried bean would work too. You may have to adjust cooking time to when your beans are done.

Stewed Tomatoes

One recipe makes about 6 cups stewed tomatoes, which gives you plenty to make the beans and some to enjoy on its own.

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 14 ½-oz. can of stewed tomatoes (you could probably leave this out, but I put it in and I wouldn’t want to jinx anything…)
  • 1 28-oz. can whole plum tomatoes
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • ½ a large onion or 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ a red pepper, diced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • A wedge of lemon (for squeezing on at the end)

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion, celery, red pepper and a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until the vegetables start to soften, about 5-7 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking, drain the plum tomatoes over a bowl, saving the juice. Slice the tomatoes into ½ inch slices. Add the sliced tomatoes and juices to the pot, along with the can of stewed tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf, salt, pepper, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Bring the pot to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove cover and simmer another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Calories: about 95 per cup.

To make the Black-eyed Peas

Makes 3-3 ½ cups

  • 2 cups stewed tomatoes
  • ¾ cup water (depending on how thick the tomatoes are)
  • ½ cup dried black-eyed peas (or whatever dried bean you are using), soaked in cold water at least 4 hours and up to overnight

Add the stewed tomatoes, black-eyed peas and enough water to the pot. Bring back to a boil, cover and simmer about 45 min or until the beans are tender but not mushy. If you’d like a little thicker sauce, gently boil uncovered for about 5 minutes to reduce some of the liquid. I like it a little thinner to facilitate slurping and sopping with some good bread, but if I’m going to use it for a warm dip with chips, I’ll reduce it a little. Calories: about 150 calories per cup


Monte’s Baked Beans

From Beans & Queens

By our figuring, this recipe is at least 150 years old and attributed to a Carolinian with the fabulous name of Hershella Smith. From start to finish these can take about 16+ hours between soaking and cooking, so make sure to start them the night before you want to serve them.

  • 1 lb dried navy beans
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • ¾ lb salt pork, meaty slab bacon, or Smithfield ham chips
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup dark molasses (Grandma’s)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ½ tsp dry ginger
  • 2 TBSP cider vinegar
  • 3 TBSP brown sugar

Soak the beans overnight. Drain and add to large saucepot. Add enough fresh water to just cover, bring to a boil and simmer just until the skins on the beans break.

Preheat oven to 250°F. In a large bowl, mix together the onions, garlic, salt, molasses, dry mustard, ginger, vinegar and brown sugar. Add in the beans and their cooking liquid and mix well. Turn the bean mixture into a dutch oven or large heavy bottomed stewpot with tightly fitting cover (or, if you are lucky enough to have one, a crockery bean pot.) If you are using the piece of salt pork or slab bacon, score and press into beans, leaving ¼” uncovered. If you are using the Smithfield ham chips, mix into the beans.

Cover pot and bake in oven 6-8 hours, or until beans are soft but still hold their shape and are a rich brown color. Check the beans after the first 90 minutes, and add additional hot water if needed (enough until it comes just up to the beans but doesn’t cover). Once the beans are cooked through, take the lid off the pot, mix well and let sit in the oven, uncovered for another 45 minutes to hour. [NOTE: If you are using salt pork or slab bacon, take out of beans, remove fatty layer, cut up the meaty part into small cubes and mix back into the finished beans.]

These can sit in the oven (turned off, and pot covered) and keep warm until you are ready to serve. Just remember to serve (we forgot to with the main meal, so we had them as a pre-dessert course, and they were GREAT!)


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