Heidi's toasty beans have become such a staple at our house, it's not even funny. Sometimes we do the chard version from Super Natural Cooking; sometimes we do the kale version above. However, more often we throw whatever aromatic veg we have on hand into a pan, add the beans, and come up with our own toasty toasty goodness. Everyone loves toasty bean goodness.
This time I had garlic, shallot, jalapeño, orange bell pepper, and parsley. I also had cooked white beans and dry vermouth. Clearly, nice toasty beans with vegetables, deglazed with vermouth, were the answer.
An aside: yes, we love vermouth. We totally use more dry vermouth than anyone else I've ever met. We are the non-martini bar reason those huge bottles of vermouth even exist. Yay vermouth!
When I make pan-toasted beans without greens, however, it's sometimes possible to end up with a slightly dry finished product. Adding a bit of oil at the end of cooking doesn't usually cut it. So I checked out the refrigerator for a solution. What could be a better solution than ricotta?
Toasty white beans: yet another variation
jalapeño/other hot pepper
cooked white beans
ricotta or reasonable substitute
Warm olive oil in a wide sauté pan; add chopped garlic, shallot, and/or any other member of the onion family you may wish to use. If you want spicy beans, add chopped jalapeño as well. When everything has softened and become super-aromatic, add some chopped bell pepper. I had orange bell pepper, which was sufficiently exciting for me, but red or yellow should be fine as well. I personally prefer to avoid green pepper here, but you can use it if it floats your boat.
Add a handful of chopped parsley and a pinch of salt, and cook for about five minutes, or until all the vegetables are soft. Now it is time for beans. Drain the cooked beans well (I generally use a slotted spoon) and deposit them gently into the pan. Do not crowd them! You want your beans to have plenty of space, so they can take full advantage of the heat and actually get crispy. I find that three big spoonfuls of beans will just cover the bottom of my pan. If you want more beans, you may want to cook them in batches.
Anyway. Deposit beans into pan; toss to coat well in the now-spicy oil. Maybe add a drizzle more oil if things look dry. Let the beans get crispy and golden on one side; toss to flip and cook the other side.
When your beans have a lovely golden crust all over, quickly deglaze the pan. Just pour in a slug of dry vermouth and give the pan a quick toss & scrape. Yay toasty brown pan bits!
When the liquid has evaporated, you are done. Taste, salt and pepper, and add any extra chopped parsley you may have lying around. Serve with (or without; it's ok!) a big scoop of ricotta on top.
I ate my toasty beans and ricotta with garlic-sautéed squash, and all was right with the world.