Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Vegetarian Adventures: Spanish White Beans with Spinach

Despite having a fridge that still has leftovers in it (2 servings of the pasta e fagioli left and quite a bit of chili left--I see a Mexican lasagna in my future--plus 2 more servings of roasted curried cauliflower and a bunch of baby carrots), I came across a recipe at epicurious that looked really tasty and really wanted to try it out. It looked like it had a good blend of flavors and looked pretty easy. So, the recipe can be found at epicurious, or you can read what I did here. I modified the recipe very slightly.

1 large onion, coarsely chopped (2 cups)
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped (Kristin's note, I think this could be upped to 3/4 cup or 1 cup)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (pimentón dulce)
3 (15.5-ounce cans) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (a slight increase from the 38 ounces total the original recipe calls for)
1 cup water
2 (10-ounces) bags spinach, tough stems removed

Cook onion and sun-dried tomatoes in 1/4 cup oil with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a 5- to 6-qt pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Stir in beans, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and add the spinach in batches, stirring between each batch, to allow the spinach to wilt just a little before adding the next batch. After all the spinach has been added, cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with pepper and serve.

As expected, this tasted WONDEFUL. I think that there were a LOT of beans--maybe too many. Next time I do this, I may only use ~30 ounces (i.e. 2 cans). Also, 20 ounces of spinach takes up a LOT of space in the pot. In order to get around this, I added the spinach in batches, allowing the spinach to wilt slightly before adding any more spinach. This recipe lends itself nicely to making only a half-recipe. If you do that, I still recommend using the full 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika, it adds a nice depth to the flavor.

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