Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stewed Etna Beans with Apples and Herbs

I've always enjoyed bean soups, baked beans and other bean dishes, but I generally used dried beans from the grocery store. This year, as I've become more and more involved with my local Farmers' Market, I've also become more and more adventurous. I'm no longer shy, sticking to what I know rather than asking the farmer how to cook something. Now, I realize going to the market is about more than purchasing food and supporting your community. It's also about building relationships and educating yourself.

So, when I first saw these beautiful pink and white Etna beans at Bradley Farm's stand a few weeks ago, I struck up a conversation with Ray Bradley who suggested cooking them in a little broth. Well, we've been eating them ever since and man oh man are they wonderful. Of course, beans are amazingly nutritious, but they are also affordable, they fill you up and baby girl adores helping me shell and eat them. This recipe, which I served with yesterday's Garlic and Herb Crusted Pork Loin is the product of many week's recipe testing. Enjoy!

Etna Beans with Apples and Herbs
(These beans are delicious with the pork roast, on their own or, as baby girl and I are wont to do, with a soft poached egg on top.)

What You'll Need

2 pounds Etna Beans shelled (Other beans, fresh or dried will work. With dried beans, make sure you soak them properly before cooking.)
1 head of garlic with cloves separated and sliced
1 onion sliced
5 Sprigs of sage with stems tossed
5 Sprigs of Rosemary with stems tossed
1 apple cut into quarters
4 cups chicken stock

Put all of the ingredients into a medium pot, set over a high heat and bring to a boil. Turn to low and simmer covered until the beans soften, about 1-1 1/2  hours. Serve with a slotted spoon. It's that easy. 

Approximate Dinner Cost
• Groceries - $6.00
• Leftovers – Expect 6 servings at a dollar each!

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  1. like the apple and onion combination --

  2. I agree with Kerry - the apples and onion combo sounds good. I'm always on the lookout for vegetarian recipes. This one looks like it makes a great side dish (I could use vegetable stock instead).

  3. Thanks Kerry and Meredith! Using vegetable stock is a great idea.

  4. Having been fortunate enough to be one of the above mentioned guests, I can personally assure you, Meredith, that you will NOT be disappointed. I am not a vegetarian, however I could have made a meal from just these wonderful beans and the simple but lovely salad Peggy served. Oh, wait, I don't want to forget the cake. Mmmm, cake.

  5. LOL! I should cook for you two every week! Such nice comments!

  6. apple to make soup? Though this is new to me, I can believe that the soup sure comes out sweet. I lovely healthy, vegetarian dish. Would love to try it. Thanks for the recipe.

  7. I'm always looking for more bean recipes, so I'm looking forward to trying this one. It is different than all the ones I have in high rotation!

  8. I've never heard of these beans before, but they look so pretty. Combining them with apples is an interesting idea and one I would love to try.

  9. Thanks so much, everyone! Etna beans were new to me too and I was saddened that the beautiful pink color completely disappears upon cooking. They end up basically looking like cannellini beans. However, they taste amazing.



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