Friday, February 18, 2011

beans and brussels spouts

My friend Ashley and I like to email each other daily and discuss Mark Bittman recipes that catch our eye. We also like to ponder our love of brussels sprouts, spin classes at the gym (well, I love--Ash is getting used to them), and jeggings. This week I have taken a fashion risk, gone to my morning spin classes, and made a Mark Bittman brussels sprouts recipe. I'm easily influenced. Ash made the pesto quiche for Valentine's Day, so maybe she's easily influenced as well.

Wednesday night I made beans with brussels sprouts, although the recipe is techinically called Gigantes with Brussels Sprouts.* I've never seen a gigante bean, though admittedly I didn't really search in my grocery store. Apparently they are huge, since Mr. Bittman says in the note: "And how many beans can you eat with a knife and fork?" He also says the following: "The varied textures and rustic flavors of this dish make it a real winner." He's absolutely right.

I sauteed a pound of brussels sprouts and then added in some garlic. Then I added cooked pinto beans (one of the recommended substitutions for gigantes. Other possibilities are large limas, cranberry, or kidney beans), along with vegetable broth, and let them heat up. While they were cooking, I decided I wanted grains in my pot as well, so I added some cooked whole wheat cous cous at the end.
I sprinkled each serving with chopped roasted almonds and little bit of sage, and we were ready to eat.

Two things you need to know about beans and brussels sprouts:

1. It's fast! Super fast! Faster than I thought it'd be, since I'm bad at math and didn't look at the top of the recipe where it said it'd take 20 minutes with cooked beans.
2. It's delicious!
EDW and I couldn't get over the textures and flavors of this dish. I know it seems strange, but there's something revolutionary about the taste of brussels sprouts, beans, and nuts all mixed together. I think the cous cous made it especially nice, but I imagine it'd be great without grains as well. We tried it with a little sriracha (it's becoming an obsession in Chez Arnaudin), and that was sublime. We both had seconds. I'll make this again. And again.

Bittman, Mark. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. "Gigantes with Brussels Sprouts." p. 587-88.

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