You’d never guess you can create such lushness from opening three cans. Cinnamon and cloves with beans make an uncommon blend, but one that turns the beans sweet and fragrant. This was Sally’s first grown-up recipe, the remains of her obligatory vegetarian phase in college. These beans are what she craves when she’s tired, what she makes when she comes home from a trip and the cupboard is bare, and when she suddenly has seven children for dinner instead of two. The beans make a sublime burrito. Dip tortilla chips or stovetop-grilled whole wheat tortillas into them, and be sure to pass hot sauce and grated cheese at the table.
These beans are earthy, salty, and smoky. So simple and so delicious. Enjoyed with rice, wrapped in a burrito, or fried in a quesadilla, these beans always fill the bill.
Italian sausage and white bean braise is a super-easy start-up variation on meatballs. The key is to buy good-quality pork and fennel sausages, either at your local butcher or the supermarket.
Mexico City chef Eduardo “Lalo” Garcia’s secret is to cook these beans very simply, for a very long time, until they’re super-soft, then to add his seasoning—a sofrito of onion, garlic, tomatoes, and dried chiles—and boil them for another half hour, simultaneously infusing them with flavor and concentrating their cooking liquid. These are some of the simplest and yet most complex beans I’ve ever tasted, let alone cooked. A straightforward pico de gallo adds a little freshness and crunch. Serve with tortillas.
When you caramelize food, the browning effect can enhance umami by as much as seven or eight times! Here, mushrooms get extra sweet and sticky in the pan, and then they’re tossed in some smoked paprika and soy for an extra umami boost. Black-eyed peas and garlicky sautéed greens make this a super-charged, protein- and nutrient-packed plant-based powerhouse.
This recipe comes from The Campfire Cookbook. It's a quick and easy veggie packet perfect for overnight camping, picnics at the park, or just hanging out around the grill or fire pit in the backyard. (Chip Walton | The Splendid Table)
This curry features two of my favourite ingredients – chicken and chickpeas. I make it in an unusual way – the ingredients are combined in a saucepan first, then transferred to the oven. It’s a good method as, once the dish is in the oven, you can forget all about it until the timer bleeps. The spicing works well with the chicken, while the chickpeas give the dish plenty of substance. Serve it with rice or naan bread and yogurt.
Cooking it with love, slowly over a low heat, brings out the flavour of the black lentils and black cardamom and results in a rich, intense, deep taste.
Moxie soda is a beloved New England soft drink first created in 1876 as a medicinal beverage. It’s flavored with gentian root, giving it a bitter flavor, with hints of cola, root beer, and Dr Pepper, which is what you should substitute if you can’t find Moxie where you live. It’s the secret ingredient in these beans, giving them a complex, sweet, and fruity flavor.
This is a great pantry standby. Borlotti (cranberry) or flageolet beans can be used instead of cannellini (lima) beans and dried or fresh cherry tomatoes can replace semi-dried (sun-blushed). The onion –and even the anchovies – can be left out altogether. Use good-quality tuna, olives and oil.