Tuesday, February 8, 2011

White beans with roasted tomatoes

I don't know what to do about the abject lack of natural light for taking photos of food in my flat. The sun goes down before I eat. Well before. I suppose that I can take consolation at the thought of midsummer here, when we will have more daylight than we know what to do with.

White beans and tomatoes is a base I work with frequently; it's a solid start to a meal and easy to spice up in different ways. This week I used three additional ingredients -- leeks, spinach and chorizo -- and the result is ideal against the tremendous storms we've been having in Aarhus. So many branches and trees have coming crashing down over the past four days that the campus is nearly impassable to bicycles. Hundreds -- literally -- of them lie in tumbled heaps outside the university buildings, incapable of being used and incapable of remaining upright. One in particular has caught my eye twice now: lying on its side, it has a lovely turquoise crochet seat cover with a gaudy red flower pinned to the back.

White beans with tomatoes, leek, spinach and chorizo (serves 4)

What you need:
  • 2 cups dry white beans
  • vegetable stock
  • 3 leeks, chopped (white part only; save the tops for stock)
  • ~2 tbsp olive oil (or, if you happen to have it, bacon fat)
  • 3-4 cups cherry tomatoes 
  • up to 8 cups spinach (or kale), roughly torn -- it cooks down to nothing!
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced dry chorizo sausage

What you do:
  • Begin by heating the fat in a heavy bottomed pot. Once hot, add the leeks and sauté until mostly soft.
  • Add the beans to the pot, along with enough stock to cover the beans by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then simmer, covered, until the beans are cooked (1.5 - 2 hours). Add more stock if the pot begins to boil dry.
  • In the meantime, you can roast the cherry tomatoes if you want to bring out their flavor. To do so,  put a bit of olive oil and the tomatoes in an oven proof dish and roast at 375 until the tomatoes are barely blackened and nearly falling apart. This is not necessary, and I often skip it.
  • Once the beans are cooked, add the cherry tomatoes (roasted or not), spinach and chorizo to the pot. Heat gently for 10 to 15 min. to allow the flavors to build.

No comments: