Tag Archives: beans

August Succotash

Last week’s CSA box had all the ingredients for a delicious fresh succotash: corn, tomatoes, sweet onions, and lima beans. Get to a farmer’s market this week and enjoy August, using this recipe from Bon Appetit, on Epicurious.IMG_0983

Did I mention fresh basil?
I started a pot of whole grain rice in the cooker while I prepped the succotash. The meal was a hit all around.

Succotash of Fresh Corn, Lima Beans, Tomatoes, and Onions

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups chopped red tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 1/4 cups corn kernels cut from 4 ears of corn (preferably 2 ears of white corn and 2 ears of yellow corn)
  • 2 cups fresh lima beans (from about 2 pounds pods) or 10 to 11 ounces frozen lima beans or baby butter beans, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sprinkle with coarse salt. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, corn, and lima beans. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until corn and lima beans are tender and tomatoes are soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm before continuing. Stir in basil and serve.

Evernote and…beans

I had a brainstorm while stocking up on beans at the Whole Foods bulk section last week. The identifying signs have information I might need, like the fact that one needs a longer soak time, is particularly suited to a dish, is known by alternative names, or has a provenance I want to remember. I’ve scribbled notes on the tags or scraps of  paper, but this time I thought to snap a quick picture of the identifying boards with my phone.

That’s not so brilliant, but uploading them to my “Cooking” notebook in Evernote was.  Now they are there, tagged, and searchable. As with all my clipped recipes and notes, I can access them from my laptop, phone, or ipad, wherever I, and the beans, happen to be. This is serious. I travel, and I cook.


My (mainly vegetarian) kitchen goes through a lot of beans, and I love experimenting with varieties and uses. I can expand the note to indicate which were successful and which should be bought again. 

I love Evernote.


Soldiers on Soldier Beans!

Navy beans probably did indeed feed sailors. Black eyed peas are named, horrifically, for their single black spot. Broad beans are large, black beans are black, and, yes. I get it. Beans have descriptive nomenclature, but I assumed soldier beans were carried by solders, or fed to soldiers, or perhaps given to soldiers by patriotic farmers during the American Revolution or something. I wasn’t prepared to really look at a soldier bean.

Because it has a soldier stamped on it. 


A tiny little 18th century soldier. Take a closer look.


The one you remember from your fifth grade history book, a stereotypical British Grenadier, perhaps.


I am delighted by this discovery. There are hundreds of soldiers simmering on the stove right now, for a soup.


Sunday Corona Beans

The rosemary, sage, and thyme are just gangbusters in their pots on the deck, despite inches of snow weeks ago, and are no doubt loving the unseasonably warm weather. Yesterday morning  I was gazing out the window at those herb pots and thinking about spending the day in the sewing room* when I decided to soak some beans for dinner. Easy meal, fragrant herbs, quality nutrition – done.

Corona beans, aka white runner beans. These were bought in bulk from Whole Foods.

I quick-soaked a few cups of corona beans (the fast method, of bringing them to a boil, covering, and then soaking for several hours) and cooked the beans later in the day. Once they were ready I slivered several cloves of garlic, tossed them into a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet, and warmed the oil. I added whole stems of rosemary and thyme to the pan, and a dozen leaves of sage, before stirring in the beans, salt, and plenty of fresh ground pepper.

Garlic, herbs, olive oil, and beans – the simplest dish.

The beans simmered, with the addition of some of the cooking water, until everything was flavorful and the rest of the meal was ready. The rest of the meal, in this case, was kale chips and a bit of this pasta.

I don’t know why I can’t ever remember the name of this particular cut of pasta.

Whenever I serve beans prepared this way, I simmer until all the liquid is gone. The herb stems are, of course, removed. A drizzle of olive oil over the top is required!

*I did spend a large percentage of the day in the sewing room, carefully fitting a princess-seamed knit tunic pattern, making all the adjustments, and working up a nice enough knit that it could have been a wearable muslin. Hated it. Hate. Ed. It. It’s easy to burn with frustration over “wasted” time, especially during December when there is so much to do, so much fun stuff to do, but ultimately, it’s all valuable, all a learning experience. At least that’s what I tell myself.