Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yesterday With My Children We Made.... Fall Vegetables Casserole with Cranberry Beans

I become sometimes frustrated in the Fall and Winter time because I feel limited with the offer of vegetables. No matter how many recipes I have for cauliflower, squash, and cabbage, there are days when I'd love to find something different. In France, we would eat a lot of fresh beans such as Coco de Paimpol. I have never found them in Philadelphia but the other day, I found fresh Cranberry beans! I purchased some and realized that I had the fresh beans I was looking for. Cranberry beans (a.k.a shell beans) have the great advantage of not requiring soaking before cooking! A big plus for me!
They also look pretty while fresh (when cooked they lose their color), which makes it more fun for my children to help shell them. My two sous-chefs are really good at shelling beans (edamame, fresh peas): we generally get to the floor and we shell the beans as we observe them : how many in a pod? what color? who gets the smallest? the biggest? the most? the least? You get it! Any game that we can play to make us go through the bag is good!
Once cooked, Cranberry beans have a nutty flavor, similar to chestnuts (that WHY I like them so much). Like most beans, they are high in fiber, fat free and a good source of proteins. They are also affordable.
Since it was Fall, I had turnips, carrots, potatoes and celery in the fridge so I made a Fall vegetables casserole and it was a success. My children loved taking the beans apart and eating them one at a time... If you still have Turkey (or chicken) leftovers from Thanksgiving, you could add small bites in the casserole. I know that we'll have more Cranberry beans in the coming weeks and months! I hope you do too! Bon Appétit!

- 1 pound of Cranberry beans, shelled
- 1 turnip, skin off, cubed
- 2 carrots, skin off, cubed
- 3 small potatoes, skin off, cubed
- 3 stems of celery, cut in small pieces
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Fresh Thyme
- Curry Powder (optional)
- Olive oil, salt and black pepper
  • In a pan (with lid), over medium-heat, saute the onion with the garlic in olive oil
  • Add the fresh Thyme,  the turnip, the carrots and saute for 5 minutes
  • Add the beans, potatoes and celery
  • Pour in 1 cup of water and simmer until the beans are cooked
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
My personal comments:
  • If you like curry and have curry powder available, you could add curry powder to the dish. Cumin powder could also add nice flavor
  • You could add leftover cooked turkey or chicken to the casserole
  • If you add more water, you could add pasta and serve it like a Minestrone.
  • I used my pressure cooker to make this dish and it cooked in less than 8 minutes

1 comment:

  1. Just bought a book called "Heirloom Beans" - in it more recipes for Cranberry Beans. I'm sure you would like it. Here we can only find the classic black beans or black eyed - I'm just getting round the soaking and cooking (loooooong) bit.