Monday, April 30, 2007

A Can of Beans

April 30

For those of you who like beans, but not sweetened with molasses and the like, here's something delicious, easy, quick and as cheap as a can of beans can be.

You do have to buy a few things for it. Fresh sage and/or thyme, while not absolutely essential, is a great help. Olive oil surely you have. Garlic likewise. A can of tomatoes or tomato sauce. And a can of beans. I personally prefer navy beans, but for some reason they are considered inferior to their Italian cousin, cannellini. Either will do very well.

Drain your can of beans in a colander and rinse with water. In the meantime, warm a clove of garlic, smashed, and a few sage leaves in two tablespoons or so of olive oil. Keep the heat low and poach until the leaves begin to curl a bit, and the garlic gets little bubbles round the edges. Throw in a stem or two of thyme if you have it. Next add all the bean and simmer for a few minutes. It's tasty just like this, but to make it really wonderful, add half a can of stewed tomatoes or a portion of canned tomato sauce to taste. (I used half an 8-oz can of Hunt's "With Basil, Garlic and Oregano" and it was excellent.)

It's best to extract the garlic before serving, because it can be mistaken for a bean which could be disastrous.

This is a one-dish meal that will be better the next day. A salad will only make it more memorable.

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