Beans with Skillet-Toasted Corn and Tomatoes
From Whole Living
2 cups (12 ounces) dried beans, such as Jacob’s cattle (americanspice.com), kidney, or pinto, soaked, liquid reserved
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 3 ears)
1 garlic clove, sliced
3 plum tomatoes, cut lengthwise into eighths
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
8 romaine lettuce leaves
3 ounces smoked cheese, such as Gouda or cheddar, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Place beans, soaking liquid, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot. Liquid should cover by 2 inches; adjust as necessary. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain, and transfer to a bowl. (Makes 5 cups beans.)
Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, and add corn. Cook, stirring occasionally, until corn begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until corn is browned and begins to pop, 3 to 4 minutes. Add to beans. Wipe skillet, return to medium-high heat, and add 1 teaspoon oil. Add tomatoes, in a single layer, and thyme. Cook, turning occasionally, until soft and beginning to char, 6 to 7 minutes.
Coarsely chop tomatoes, and add to beans. Whisk vinegar, red-pepper flakes, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons oil in a small bowl. Pour over beans, stirring gently. Spoon over lettuce, and top with cheese.
Calypso Bean Minestrone
From Local Kitchen
½ lb dried calypso beans (to yield 3 cups cooked beans with broth)
1 medium yellow or white onion, divided
5 cloves garlic, divided
2 tbsp bacon grease or olive oil
½ to 1 tsp fennel seeds (or one medium bulb fresh fennel, chopped)
3 cups chopped kale (frozen)
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
½ lb green beans, sliced to 2-inch lengths (fresh or frozen)
2 tsp Kosher salt, or to taste
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
goat cheese or brie-style soft cheese for garnish
Soak and cook the beans. I soaked the beans for about 6 hours, then simmered over low heat, in the soaking water, with ¼ of the onion and 2 smashed garlic cloves, for about 1 and ½ hours. Add 1 tsp of salt about halfway through the cooking time. When the beans are tender but still a bit al dente, turn off the heat and allow them to sit in the bean broth.
Chop the remaining onion to ¼-inch dice and mince the remaining garlic cloves. Heat the grease or oil over medium flame in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, garlic, ½ tsp fennel seed (or chopped fresh fennel) and a pinch of salt and saute over medium-low heat until vegetables are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the chopped kale and saute until wilted and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes (longer if using fresh kale). Add the stock and another pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
Drain the calypso beans, reserving the bean broth. Add calypso and green beans to the soup along with 2 cups of the bean broth (or more, if the soup is very thick). Simmer for 15 minutes.
Taste and add black pepper, salt and more fennel as needed. Add additional bean broth to round out flavor and/or if the soup is very thick. Serve garnished with a dollop of fresh goat cheese, or a thin slice of brie.