Monday, February 17, 2014

White Beans and Cabbage with Potatoes and Shallots

Every week I peruse cookbooks for new inspiration.  I'm always looking for new budget-friendly vegan or vegetarian recipes. This week, I took Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day off my shelf to check out recipes I'd marked to try. Her recipes are mostly easy and basic.  I found a recipe simply called White Beans and Cabbage.  What could be more warming in winter than beans?

But recipe didn't really look substantial enough for a one-dish dinner, my favorite kind of meal, so I added a few vegetables.  Well, more than a few because there is always room for one more vegetable in the pot.

You can find varieties of white beans at the farmers' market, or you can buy more budget-friendly white beans at the grocery store or even Grocery Outlet.

The same goes for cabbage. You can find real bargains in the grocery store.  While cabbage is more expensive at the market, it's often more tasty and tender varieties. Local cabbage can turn cabbage haters into cabbage lovers. 

I bought a savoy cabbage at Nash's at the market.  It's a splurge, but it's worth paying extra because the subtle sweet tones of this great local cabbage really make this dish special. 

I had saved a number of shallots last fall.  Since they often cost more than onions, I use them sparingly, and these were a treat in this dish. But when I looked in the box I'd kept the shallots in,  I was shocked and disappointed to see they are already starting to sprout.  

Did I leave them in too much light?  Is spring on the way?  I asked Tom if he thought we should plant them instead but as he pointed out, the shallots we've been lucky enough to grow are always so small.  Besides I wanted to eat these shallots, they're sweet with a delicate flavor--perfect for white beans and cabbage.

I had the variety on the right--grey French shallots. I used them anyway and the green sprout didn't seem to affect the flavor, once they were cooked.

I also splurged and got two Purple Majesty Potatoes from Olsen's Potatoes at the market.  I love their potatoes, but you don't need to use fancy potatoes in this dish because, the purple potatoes seemed to disappear into the background when I used the pressure cooker.  But these potatoes may hold their shape better, if you're cooking on the stove top.

I changed this recipe, adding peppers, shiitake mushrooms and a sweet potato.  I also substituted kalamata olives for the Parmesan cheese, and if you want, add a squeeze of lemon for good luck.

Here's the recipe:

White Beans and Cabbage with Potatoes and Shallots
(Serves 4)

1 to 2 cups shiitaki mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 medium red, white, or purple potato, diced
1 small yam or sweet potato, diced
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon Mama Lil's Peppers, chopped
1 cup white beans, soaked over night, and drained or 2 cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups finely shredded cabbage
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives (optional)
Fresh Meyer lemon to taste (optional)
Sea salt to taste

Dry fry shiitaki mushrooms in a heavy soup pot over medium heat until mushrooms soften.  Add olive oil, shallots and pepper.  Stir and cook until shallots begin to brown.  Add potato, yam, garlic, Mama Lil's, white beans and water.   Cover and simmer until beans soften, about 1 hour.  Or cook this in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes, then let pressure come down naturally.  (This takes about 10 minutes.)

Stir in cabbage and cook for about a minute or just until the cabbage softens.   Top with kalamata olives and add sea salt to taste.

1 comment:

Joan said...

A comfort dish if I ever saw one. Yum!