Cooking Beans

Cook with what you have sounds nice but what should/would you like to have on hand? This is a fun and complex question. I’m going to tackle a small fragment of this question today. I’m going to talk about beans, white beans, and cooking them at home. A quick side note about dry beans. Here in the Portland area we are lucky to have a couple of very local sources of dri... Read more »

Basic Bean (& Chickpea) Cooking Method

 Note: There are many theories about the best way to cook dry beans. I particularly like this one but find whatever method works best for you! Do give this a try if you are not yet in the habit of cooking beans. I recently borrowed an Instant Pot and was impressed with the way it cooked beans.    The two most important things you can do to get hooked on coo... Read more »

The Bean Challenge!

...beans in the summer! Black turtle beans (Sun Gold Farm) with brown rice and cilantro and my lovely son who loves rice and beans. Pinto beans (Sun Gold Farm), Mayacoba beans (Rancho Gordo), bean broth, herbs, radishes, harissa.   The two most important things you can do to get hooked on cooking your own dry beans are: &nbs... Read more »

The Comfort of Cooking (Beans) in Uncertain Times

When I look into my pantry and see colorful dry beans, lentils, grains and spices I’m comforted. When I find frozen blueberries and salmon, extra butter, stock and bread in the freezer I feel lucky beyond compare.   I’m a bit of a homebody and we all know how much I love beans so the advice being dished out in these uncertain times–stay home, cook beans, skip the grocery st... Read more »

Fava Beans

...Beans with Cilantro, Yogurt and Lemon   Carol Boutard of Ayers Creek Farm told me about this method of cooking fava beans which eliminates the time consuming step of peeling each individual bean. This is an Iranian way of cooking favas.   2 pounds fava beans in their pods ¼ cup kosher or sea salt 1/3 cup Greek yogurt or plain, whole milk yogur... Read more »

Tomato-Braised Collards and Beans

...fall, they are perfect for this dish. Bryant adds home-cooked butter (lima) beans and broth to the tomato-y greens for the last half hour of cooking. You can do the same, use different beans or omit the broth and serve the greens over rice or quinoa or another grain of your choosing or mashed potatoes and rutabagas! I used Zolfino beans from Ayers Creek Farm. 2 bunches collard... Read more »

Salads and Beans

...of beans, olive oil and red wine. But back to yesterday’s lunch salad–the salad I make in some fashion several times a week for lunch and for dinner has two main components: greens and beans. I always have home-cooked beans in the freezer and usually a quart in the fridge (canned beans work fine for this kind of thing too). And in the winter I almost always have ka... Read more »

Quince, Squash, Beans – Simple Fall Pleasures (& a New Class)

When you cook and adapt and create recipes every day it’s easy to get swept up in the many variations and tricks that are certainly fun but not always necessary. And a few of the teaching projects I’m currently working on are forcing me to strip things down to the very simplest preparations, to really practice what I preach– that cooking can be liberating, a way to frankly make life less complicated rather than ... Read more »

White Beans, Roasted Tomatoes, Spicy Sausage

...tomatoes, chopped up, or 1 cup canned, roasted tomatoes (or just plain canned ones) 3 cups cooked white beans with their cooking liquid. I used Ayers Creek farm’s Zolfino beans (in case you’re local and have some on hand) or canned beans, drained and rinsed 3 cups bean cooking liquid and/or water or vegetable broth/veggie bouillon about 1/2 bunch o... Read more »

Recipes

...Curry Summer Squash Soup Italian Lentil and Rice Stew Leek and Green Garlic Soup Spring Soup with Herbs and Grains The Best Soup Turnip and Turnip Greens Soup Red Lentil and Winter Squash Dal White Beans, Roasted Tomatoes, Spicy Sausage Zuppa Bastarda (Black Bean Soup over bread with pesto)   Beans   Cooking Beans Barley Lentil Soup with Green Garlic and Parsley Bean, Herb and Cheese... Read more »

Eat More Fava Beans: Skip the Peeling & Sometimes Even the Shelling

...bean consumption this spring with less hassle.   If your beans are on the larger side, there’s always an Iranian method of cooking them–the whole pods are cooked in heavily salted water until they start falling apart. The resulting beans are tender and well seasoned and do not need peeling. So there! Skip the finicky peeling, enjoy the beans and more nutrients... Read more »

Seared Young Fava Beans and Garlic Scapes with Lemon

When you have young/small fava beans you can eat the whole pod, either grilled or just seared in a heavy skillet, in this case alongside some shelled ones and garlic scapes and scallions. The whole pod gets tender and when well seasoned with salt and lemon, is just delicious. You can cook them all whole or shell a few for contrast and fun-either way is delicious.... Read more »

Salad of Fava Beans, Peas, and Crab with Basil and Aioli Dressing

I put this salad together on a whim after I splurged on a beautiful Dungeness crab. I had both fava beans and shelling peas on hand but either or is fabulous too. And you could substitute canned Oregon Albacore for the crab or bay shrimp or omit entirely or add chopped hardboiled egg or no additional protein at all. Adapt to your tastes/what you have on hand. ... Read more »

Perfect Green Beans (with Aioli)

...their strings along my fence but I managed to pick about a pound over a four-day period. Aioli with green beans. My favorite thing to do with these tender things is to make aioli (garlicky mayonnaise) and dip the perfectly cooked beans (by which I mean four minutes in salty, rapidly bowling water) into the aioli. I recently ate three-quarters of a pound of beans in a single sitting. My boys go... Read more »

Summer Improv Cooking and Pasta Carbonara with Peas

...brought from her garden. One night I made Pasta Carbonara with the above peas. This is an inauthentic addition to the classic Carbonara which just includes eggs, cheese, pancetta (or bacon), lots of black pepper and pasta but it’s a mighty good one (recipe below). I used some of the last of the season’s sugar snap peas, fava and garbanzo beans to make this impromptu three-bean/pea salad. I employed the fava bean Read more »

Make Your Own Rules! Aka You're the Boss & Cooking is More Fun that Way

...enough for lunch the next day + cooking without spending an (extra) dime makes me very happy   My “Rules” (for this meal): Don’t hesitate to serve an Indian-inspired dish next to a French-inspired one next to an undefinable salad Rich nuts like cashews can stand in for cheese in salad Nuts are critical pantry staples Grating the zucchini and squeezing out some of the liquid before sauteeing it makes it c... Read more »

Seven Years of Learning and Cooking with You All!

Seven years ago this week I taught two classes in my home kitchen to a handful of you. Then I taught a series of classes at Zenger Farm to a dozen of you. And I bought the url cookwithwhatyouhave.com and the rest is history, I suppose. I set out to spread the joy and deliciousness of simple, everyday cooking with in-season vegetables and whatever your pantry had to offer. I still believe that cooking can simplify... Read more »

Summer Lentils and Beans

...mint. The chickpeas added heft and texture and it was a lovely way to spend NO time at the stove. And if you don’t have cooked beans, canned beans are a good shortcut here. Previously cooked and then frozen navy beans with tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno, sweet onions, feta, and a dressing of red wine vinegar, s & p and good olive oil. Just now for lunch I employed some just-thawed whit... Read more »

Cooking With What You Have (No Matter Where You Are)

People love the cook! This is I think why I started cooking when I was quite young. My mother suffered from migraines and when she was out of commission I started cooking for my family. The house was a sad place when my mother was sick and I hated it. My only fond memories of those times were when my brothers and father liked the food I made and told me so.   I just returned from a few days...... Read more »

Sorrel (Sandwiches) & a Cooking Class

...sliced and marinated in red wine vinegar for at least 10 minutes 0r up to many weeks–I keep a jar of them on hand). The slugs love the sorrel as do leaf miners but it grows so quickly we all seem to get enough! And speaking of cooking-with-what-you-have, I’ve just posted a cooking class on said subject: How to Set Yourself up for Success: Tricks, Favorite Dishes & Pantry Stocking for Everyday <... Read more »

The Best Soup

...time of year.   Finally, my Kitchen Fundamentals, Pantry Stocking 30-Minute Dinners series is filling up quickly so if you’re considering it for yourself or as a gift, let me know asap. Happy Cooking and Eating and Celebrating! Katherine Cilantro Bread Soup (Acorda) –loosely adapted from Tea & Cookies serves 4 (with plenty of leftovers) or 6 1 cup dried white beans (cannelini, great northe... Read more »

2 Carrots, 2 Zucchini & Why Cooking is Magic

...in a large, hot skillet with some olive oil and salt, they transform into something entirely satisfying. Tender, a little caramelized but not mushy AND the perfect foil for that leftover sauce–whatever sauce or vinaigrette you might have.   I still wonder at how a few simple steps can transform something kind of blah into something so good. And we all get in cooking/eating ruts. This little lunch number broke me out... Read more »

Cooking for New Parents

...know I cook–I am a fast cook, I like to cook, I’m not daunted by cooking. However, as everyone told me, I was completely unfit and unable to cook right after Ellis was born. I don’t think I really cooked for the first six weeks. It seems so hard to imagine now but babies, and particularly first babies I imagine, are all-consuming, especially for the mother who usually is nursing what seems like all the time. ... Read more »

Workplace Wellness

Recipes

...keep it in the fridge. Dress lettuces and greens as well as roasted vegetables or plain chickpeas/beans with the same vinaigrette, adding some chopped herbs and toasted seeds. . . Cook a good quantity of beans. Cook twice as much rice, barley or farro as you need for any given meal and freeze half of it to make fried rice, rice and beans or a soup the following week. Toast sunflower or pumpkin... Read more »

Cooking Beans

Cook with what you have sounds nice but what should/would you like to have on hand? This is a fun and complex question. I’m going to tackle a small fragment of this question today. I’m going to talk about beans, white beans, and cooking them at home. A quick side note about dry beans. Here in the Portland area we are lucky to have a couple of very local sources of dried beans. Ayers Creek Farm sells their beans at…

The Bean Challenge!

beans in the summer! Black turtle beans (Sun Gold Farm) with brown rice and cilantro and my lovely son who loves rice and beans. Pinto beans (Sun Gold Farm), Mayacoba beans (Rancho Gordo), bean broth, herbs, radishes, harissa.   The two most important things you can do to get hooked on cooking your own dry beans are:   1) Cook a lot of beans at once since they freeze so well, once cooked and covered in their cooking liquid. That…

The Comfort of Cooking (Beans) in Uncertain Times

When I look into my pantry and see colorful dry beans, lentils, grains and spices I’m comforted. When I find frozen blueberries and salmon, extra butter, stock and bread in the freezer I feel lucky beyond compare.   I’m a bit of a homebody and we all know how much I love beans so the advice being dished out in these uncertain times–stay home, cook beans, skip the grocery store if possible–makes me feel useful. If I can cook for…

Fava Beans

Beans with Cilantro, Yogurt and Lemon   Carol Boutard of Ayers Creek Farm told me about this method of cooking fava beans which eliminates the time consuming step of peeling each individual bean. This is an Iranian way of cooking favas.   2 pounds fava beans in their pods ¼ cup kosher or sea salt 1/3 cup Greek yogurt or plain, whole milk yogurt (or more if you want it saucier) 1/3 – 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (can use…

Tomato-Braised Collards and Beans

…fall, they are perfect for this dish. Bryant adds home-cooked butter (lima) beans and broth to the tomato-y greens for the last half hour of cooking. You can do the same, use different beans or omit the broth and serve the greens over rice or quinoa or another grain of your choosing or mashed potatoes and rutabagas! I used Zolfino beans from Ayers Creek Farm. 2 bunches collards, leaves and stems, well washed 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion,…

Salads and Beans

…of beans, olive oil and red wine. But back to yesterday’s lunch salad–the salad I make in some fashion several times a week for lunch and for dinner has two main components: greens and beans. I always have home-cooked beans in the freezer and usually a quart in the fridge (canned beans work fine for this kind of thing too). And in the winter I almost always have kale around (which works beautifully in this hearty salad in its raw…

Quince, Squash, Beans – Simple Fall Pleasures (& a New Class)

When you cook and adapt and create recipes every day it’s easy to get swept up in the many variations and tricks that are certainly fun but not always necessary. And a few of the teaching projects I’m currently working on are forcing me to strip things down to the very simplest preparations, to really practice what I preach– that cooking can be liberating, a way to frankly make life less complicated rather than more; that cooking can be simple,…

White Beans, Roasted Tomatoes, Spicy Sausage

…tomatoes, chopped up, or 1 cup canned, roasted tomatoes (or just plain canned ones) 3 cups cooked white beans with their cooking liquid. I used Ayers Creek farm’s Zolfino beans (in case you’re local and have some on hand) or canned beans, drained and rinsed 3 cups bean cooking liquid and/or water or vegetable broth/veggie bouillon about 1/2 bunch of parsley, tough stems removed, the rest finely chopped 1 large clove garlic, minced and mashed with a little salt on…

Recipes

…Curry Summer Squash Soup Italian Lentil and Rice Stew Leek and Green Garlic Soup Spring Soup with Herbs and Grains The Best Soup Turnip and Turnip Greens Soup Red Lentil and Winter Squash Dal White Beans, Roasted Tomatoes, Spicy Sausage Zuppa Bastarda (Black Bean Soup over bread with pesto)   Beans   Cooking Beans Barley Lentil Soup with Green Garlic and Parsley Bean, Herb and Cheese Quesadilla Bean and Egg Burrito with Greens Chickpea Avocado Salad Sandwich Chickpeas and Cauliflower…

Eat More Fava Beans: Skip the Peeling & Sometimes Even the Shelling

…bean consumption this spring with less hassle.   If your beans are on the larger side, there’s always an Iranian method of cooking them–the whole pods are cooked in heavily salted water until they start falling apart. The resulting beans are tender and well seasoned and do not need peeling. So there! Skip the finicky peeling, enjoy the beans and more nutrients to boot!   Seared Young Fava Beans with Garlic Scapes and Lemon In this dish I shelled some…

Perfect Green Beans (with Aioli)

…their strings along my fence but I managed to pick about a pound over a four-day period. Aioli with green beans. My favorite thing to do with these tender things is to make aioli (garlicky mayonnaise) and dip the perfectly cooked beans (by which I mean four minutes in salty, rapidly bowling water) into the aioli. I recently ate three-quarters of a pound of beans in a single sitting. My boys got a few but they don’t rhapsodize about them…

Summer Improv Cooking and Pasta Carbonara with Peas

…brought from her garden. One night I made Pasta Carbonara with the above peas. This is an inauthentic addition to the classic Carbonara which just includes eggs, cheese, pancetta (or bacon), lots of black pepper and pasta but it’s a mighty good one (recipe below). I used some of the last of the season’s sugar snap peas, fava and garbanzo beans to make this impromptu three-bean/pea salad. I employed the fava bean cooking technique I’ve discussed here before and it…

Make Your Own Rules! Aka You’re the Boss & Cooking is More Fun that Way

…enough for lunch the next day + cooking without spending an (extra) dime makes me very happy   My “Rules” (for this meal): Don’t hesitate to serve an Indian-inspired dish next to a French-inspired one next to an undefinable salad Rich nuts like cashews can stand in for cheese in salad Nuts are critical pantry staples Grating the zucchini and squeezing out some of the liquid before sauteeing it makes it cook more quickly and have a better consistency A…

Seven Years of Learning and Cooking with You All!

Seven years ago this week I taught two classes in my home kitchen to a handful of you. Then I taught a series of classes at Zenger Farm to a dozen of you. And I bought the url cookwithwhatyouhave.com and the rest is history, I suppose. I set out to spread the joy and deliciousness of simple, everyday cooking with in-season vegetables and whatever your pantry had to offer. I still believe that cooking can simplify and improve our lives….

Summer Lentils and Beans

…mint. The chickpeas added heft and texture and it was a lovely way to spend NO time at the stove. And if you don’t have cooked beans, canned beans are a good shortcut here. Previously cooked and then frozen navy beans with tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno, sweet onions, feta, and a dressing of red wine vinegar, s & p and good olive oil. Just now for lunch I employed some just-thawed white beans in my attempt to eat as much produce…

Cooking With What You Have (No Matter Where You Are)

People love the cook! This is I think why I started cooking when I was quite young. My mother suffered from migraines and when she was out of commission I started cooking for my family. The house was a sad place when my mother was sick and I hated it. My only fond memories of those times were when my brothers and father liked the food I made and told me so.   I just returned from a few days…

Sorrel (Sandwiches) & a Cooking Class

…sliced and marinated in red wine vinegar for at least 10 minutes 0r up to many weeks–I keep a jar of them on hand). The slugs love the sorrel as do leaf miners but it grows so quickly we all seem to get enough! And speaking of cooking-with-what-you-have, I’ve just posted a cooking class on said subject: How to Set Yourself up for Success: Tricks, Favorite Dishes & Pantry Stocking for Everyday Cooking. Register here if this sounds useful/fun.  …

The Best Soup

…time of year.   Finally, my Kitchen Fundamentals, Pantry Stocking 30-Minute Dinners series is filling up quickly so if you’re considering it for yourself or as a gift, let me know asap. Happy Cooking and Eating and Celebrating! Katherine Cilantro Bread Soup (Acorda) –loosely adapted from Tea & Cookies serves 4 (with plenty of leftovers) or 6 1 cup dried white beans (cannelini, great northern, Ayers Creek white beans of any kind, Rancho Gordo Marrow beans . . . )…

2 Carrots, 2 Zucchini & Why Cooking is Magic

…in a large, hot skillet with some olive oil and salt, they transform into something entirely satisfying. Tender, a little caramelized but not mushy AND the perfect foil for that leftover sauce–whatever sauce or vinaigrette you might have.   I still wonder at how a few simple steps can transform something kind of blah into something so good. And we all get in cooking/eating ruts. This little lunch number broke me out of mine today. It put a smile on…

Cooking for New Parents

…know I cook–I am a fast cook, I like to cook, I’m not daunted by cooking. However, as everyone told me, I was completely unfit and unable to cook right after Ellis was born. I don’t think I really cooked for the first six weeks. It seems so hard to imagine now but babies, and particularly first babies I imagine, are all-consuming, especially for the mother who usually is nursing what seems like all the time. I remember a day…

Recipes

…keep it in the fridge. Dress lettuces and greens as well as roasted vegetables or plain chickpeas/beans with the same vinaigrette, adding some chopped herbs and toasted seeds. . . Cook a good quantity of beans. Cook twice as much rice, barley or farro as you need for any given meal and freeze half of it to make fried rice, rice and beans or a soup the following week. Toast sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Use in salads or as a…