One thing that still baffles most people is that I don’t own a cell phone. I have a landline, but refuse to convert to a cell phone until the reception and reliability have improved. For now, I am content with my landline.
I definitely see advantages to having one of those ‘do everything’ phones. Like when you want to check the ingredients of a recipe you hadn’t planned on making. (You can tell what is important for me, ha!)
When I serendipitously stumbled upon fresh cranberry beans the other week, I couldn’t remember how many I needed. 1 cup? 2 cups? Well, I bought 4 cups just to make sure I wasn’t short. Suffice it to say, the cranberry bean mole with roasted butternut squash only needed 2 cups of beans.
So I searched out other ways to use my creamy fresh cranberry beans. It turns out they are also common in Turkish cuisine, which is one of my favourites. Beans simmered in tomato sauce may sound bland, but I knew it would be anything but if it were a Turkish recipe. I worked with Esra’s recipe at Carte du Jour and modified it slightly to use less oil and added more garlic. Her recipe is fantastic because it includes a lot of possible substitutions.
A plate of beans may not sound that exciting, but I enjoyed them. This was a lighter dish, and while other recipes don’t necessarily add the water during the simmering, it made it a bit more saucy which I enjoyed. It would be nice to try this again without the extra water and without the sugar. Keeping with the Turkish theme, I paired the beans with fine bulgur for a complete meal. I have talked about the nutritional superiority of bulgur compared to brown rice before, and it is incredibly easy to make as well (7 minutes to “cook” in boiling water). Mixed all together, the sauciness coated the bulgur nicely for a light yet hearty meal.
This is my submission to this round of Blog Bites 9, holiday buffet, potluck-style!
Turkish Cranberry Beans and Tomatoes Simmered in Olive Oil (Barbunya Pilaki)
2 cups fresh cranberry beans (Borlotti beans, Romano beans), or 1 cup dried
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped (1 medium or a handful of baby carrots)
1 tbsp tomato paste
14 oz chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp sugar (could be omitted)
1 1/2 cups hot water
salt, to taste
1. For dried beans, soak overnight change the water and boil until soft. For fresh beans, just boil the beans in enough water to cover by an inch, for 20 minutes or so, until soft.
2. Over medium heat, add olive oil and saute onions and garlic until soft.
3. Add carrots and saute until soft.
4. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes and cooked beans and stir for 3 minutes.
5. Add the salt, sugar and water. Bring the dish to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 45-60 minutes, until you reach your desired consistency.
6. Garnish with parsley and squeeze lemon juice overtop. I served it cold, mixed with bulgur as a main dish, but it is also served as a side or mezze.