Note: I published this post last year, but as someone who eats meatless on Fridays all year long, I find myself returning to it again and again. I thought for all of you who are looking for some vegetarian ideas, both this dinner as well as the cookbook it is from would be helpful. If you have kiddos that don’t love beans, you can substitute any short pasta like penne or ditalini. Adding a little vegetable broth, a scoop of pesto that melts into it, and some burrata drizzled with olive oil and bread for dipping will make anyone’s belly smile. For more ideas, just select ‘meatless meals’ on the right side of this blog.
For those of you who know and love the blog/cookbook/adorable person behind Dinner A Lovestory, you will probably love this recipe which comes from her newest cookbook, Weekday Vegetarians.
I saw her post a video of this recipe by showing a big pot of beans, which got my attention because she put three things in a pot then said ‘when dinner cooks hands free in under an hour’ or something approximating that. Always a good sell to a busy mom.
She spooned the contents into a bowl, put some pesto on top and THEN put some burrata and a drizzle of olive oil, at which point I had to try this deliciousness somehow, someway.
The result? Maybe one of the best things I have eaten all year. It is so bright, creamy, healthy, stick-to-your-ribs comforting. And so easy. The bright pesto is like sunshine, the warm broth is so comforting, and the creamy burrata melting a little in the heat of the broth – it’s all perfection.
You may have a little trouble finding butter beans or big lima beans, but you can get them on Amazon or find them in a specialty food shop (I actually found canned butter beans at Eataly in the Prudential Center in Boston but it is just as easy and delicious to buy the dried ones online or substitute with any northern white bean).
It is funny to say that such a humble dish like beans is the best thing I’ve eaten, but its true. And if you are like me you are starting to think about easy, meatless meals during lent. (Ok full confession I always feel like the challenge to eat meat only once a day on not on Fridays is a chance to eat all the delicious vegetarian foods which I know is not the point but I will still try to offer it up). Good thing this recipe comes from a book chock full of great vegetarian ideas. Even if my 8-year-old declared that it ‘had too many vegetables’.
The real flavor comes from the broth with its simple onion and thyme. I didn’t even chopped the onion as she suggests in her cookbook I just let it simmer. It was the best potlikker I have had in a while.
And I can’t recommend a bit of Naan bread or french crusty bread enough to dip into all this goodness. If you want to add chili oil or red pepper flakes no one would stop you.
You may want to go ahead and buy the big bag at Amazon so you can make this over and over again. It’s so so good.
Happy Eating, xoxo Katie
Herby, Brothy Beans with Pesto and Burrata
16 ounces dried or canned lima beans, or broad beans
1/2 medium yellow onion roughly chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 dried bay leaf
Leaves from 8 fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (optional)
Store bought pesto for serving
Fresh Burrata or Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
If you are using dried beans: place the beans in a large pot, cover with water by about 2 inches, and let them sit for at least 6 hours and up to overnight, 8-10 hours. Check them and be sure they stay slightly submerged.
Add more water to cover the beans by 1 1/2 inches and place on the stove top. Stir in the onion, salt, olive oil and bay leaf. Simmer uncovered, until tender, about 40 minutes, scraping off any foam as they cook.
If you are using canned beans: put beans in the pot and cover the beans with water by 1 1/2 inches and place on the stovetop. Stir in the onion, salt, olive oil and bay leaf. Simmer uncovered, until tender, about 10-15 minutes, scraping off any foam as they cook.
Once tender do not drain the beans. Scoop them into a small serving bowl with a little of the bean broth. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon if using, pesto and burrata or parm.
Adapted from the cookbook Weekday Vegetarians by Jenny Rosenstrach