Braised White Beans with Zucchini, Potatoes, and Tomato

Happy Meatless Monday all!  Hope you’re making it a good one!!  I came across this recipe a while ago, printed it out, and it promptly got shuffled under papers and such.  I finally found it and decided to give it a try before warm food stopped sounding good.  Since I was wondering when I first read the recipe, I’m pretty sure that you might also (or perhaps not) be wondering…”What the hell is braising”?  As a vegetarian, I just don’t see that much call for braising, and never give it a thought, but my good friend Wikipedia tells me that:

braising is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavor.”

I am keeping the name of the recipe as it is because that’s how I happened upon it, but I honestly do not see any semblance of braising therein.  If you think otherwise, PLEASE let me know (with a reasonable explanation of why, of course) because I am always willing to learn, especially when it comes to FOOD!

Braised White Beans with Zucchini, Potatoes, and Tomato

adapted from The Way The Cookie Crumbles

Ingredients:

*1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

*4 garlic cloves, minced or grated

*1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

*14 oz canned tomatoes (I used ground, but diced are called for in the original)

*1/4 cup water

*1/2 tsp fresh rosemary (or 1/4 tsp dried)

*salt, to taste

*1 medium potato, peeled cut into 1/4 inch dice (I used Russet)

*1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced

*1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

To Make:

(*Try to chop the vegetables so they are roughly the same size as the white beans.  This will help everything to cook more evenly.*)

*Heat the oil, garlic, and pepper flakes in a pan over medium heat until the garlic begins to become a bit fragrant (after 30 seconds or so).

* Stir in the tomato, water, rosemary, salt and potatoes and cook (covered) at a simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost cooked through.

*Add the zucchini and beans .  (I added another 1/4 cup of water here too, but original recipe doesn’t call for it)

*Cover and cook (stirring as often as needed) for 10 (or so…I had to put in an extra 5 minutes) more minutes, until the zucchini and potatoes are tender.

*Check the consistency of the sauce; it shouldn’t be dry and watery, so add a bit more water (I added another 1/4 cup at this point) if you need to.  Cook it uncovered if it seems too watery.

*Serve in large pasta bowls (with some freshly grated Parmesan if desired…it’s GOOD)

Survey Says:

WOW!  This is incredible!!  Now I know that it’s not the prettiest thing that I’ve ever made, but man…it is really tasty.  I am sad that I had to share it with Jake because I could have eaten the whole thing by myself!  I’m actually really glad that I subbed the ground tomatoes for the diced because I think that there would have been too much to chew on and maybe not enough sauce (and I have weird texture issues with canned diced tomatoes…).  It’s like a non-soupy Minestrone and it is delicious!!  Give it a try and let me know what you think because I could eat this every single day!

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5 responses to this post.

  1. I suppose you could consider the initial phase of heating the garlic anc pepper flakes as the initial phase of braising, because then you add everything else with liquid and cook until tender. But it is a stretch, definition wise. But it sounds tasty. I am trying to find ways to work more beans into my culinary offerings since they are so darn good for you. I will try this!

    Reply

  2. That’s what I was originally thinking too, but then that would be “braised garlic”. Whatever! Please give it a try because it is soooo good!!

    Reply

  3. This sounds really good. I have a vegetarian chili that I like to make in the winter, with white beans. This recipe sounds a bit similar… same hearty/yummy vibe. I’m definitely giving this a whirl!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Tasha on March 28, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Looks so yummy! And these are not the kind of veggies I would typically put together, so thanks for some good old fashioned inspiration 🙂

    Reply

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