All Things Bean

by Elizabeth on February 16, 2012

This was the week of the bean. Pretty funny that Valentines Day landed on bean week, although we weren’t tasting any that day. This was fortunate, because although the recipes were delicious, none of us felt our sexiest after four hours of legume-eating (I chose this particular Mr. Bean shot because his expression pretty closely resembles those seen in our classroom by 4 p.m.)

The first day we watched Chef Celine’s demo and today we made the recipes ourselves. We were divided into three groups and each cooked up variations of a soup, stew, salad and puree using different beans. There were a few classics (hummus made from chickpeas and lentil soup) but a few combinations that I never would have thought to try like kidney bean puree and soy bean salad. Here are a few photos.

Canellini Spread

Red Kidney Bean Spread

Green Split Pea Soup

Black Bean Salad

One of the things we talked about this week was balancing flavors. When I lived in Spain, I learned from my host mama to add fresh lemon juice to bean soups and stews. Since then I’ve always added it but never knew why the flavors worked so well together.  We learned (and tasted) how fat needs acid for balance,  so the fattier the bean (ex-soybeans) the more acidity (lemon juice, vinegar etc.) is needed. Good news for my lemon obsession.

Sauteed Edamame

Chef Celine made this sauteed edamame yesterday as part of our demo. It was the simplest and quickest of the recipes but one of my favorites. She just dropped the frozen edamame in boiling water for a minute, sauteed with olive oil and garlic, then tossed with lemon, salt and fresh cilantro. Great to have frozen edamame on hand for a quick app.

At the end of class today, Chef Elliott whipped up a kuzu beverage that’s a good sleep aid and can also be tweaked to make a hangover cure – more about that next time!

These were from last week’s post, but I took the photo afterwards and thought they were too cute not to include

Our heart shaped polenta, in honor of Valentines Day <3

I was reminded how much I love polenta. Next on my list is polenta with gorgonzola and toasted walnuts. yum.

*Thanks Ana for the photos!


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