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Cranberry Beans with Red Onion and Sage

May 08, 2006


I am not a vegetarian, by any stretch of the imagination. I am actively in favor of lamb, chicken, beef, pork, pork in the form of bacon, pork in the form of barbecue, pork in the form of Chinese dumplings - in short, meat.

That does not mean, however, that I lack imagination or desire for other, less carnivorous options. In fact, as the heat of summer starts to press on Florida, the heaviness of hot and sticky weather is often counterbalanced by cravings for lighter vegetables - anything easy to chew, easy to cook. Less cooking means less heat, right? Besides, I do admit, most vegetables are just much better looking than your average pot roast.


See? Aren't those beautiful? Cranberry beans, or borlotti, or French Horticultural Beans. Take your pick. They burst into season, all gorgeous with magenta mottled skins. They're all over the place, still dressed in their pretty jackets, or shelled but still fresh, rattling seductively in styrofoam packets. I bought some twice now this week and cooked them gently with garlic and fresh sage from my front stoop. A little red pepper for bite, and you have a comfortable dish, soft and warm but still light and just right for one on a summer evening.



Cranberry Beans with Red Onion and Sage
Serves one

1 cup of fresh cranberry beans
Olive oil
Red pepper flakes to taste
About 0.25 of a large red onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
Several sage leaves, chopped
A couple sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Water to cover beans
Fresh grated Parmesan

1. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
2. Sprinkle in red pepper and stir until lightly toasted.
3. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant - about five minutes.
4. Add sage and thyme, stir, and add the beans - stirring to coat with the oil.
5. Pour in water just to cover the beans and put a lid on the pot.
6. Simmer on low for about half an hour, or until the beans are tender.
7. Remove from the heat, add salt and any extra pepper to taste.
8. Stir in a generous amount of fresh Parmesan and eat immediately, preferably with a very, very, very cold beer.

Posted by Faith at 8 May 2006

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Lovely pictures that feature a great recipe! And I love sage, so, it is a big hit!

Posted by: Bea at La Tartine Gourmande at May 9, 2006 11:34 AM

This looks amazing - as does the rest of your blog! I have spent the better part of the morning answering phone calls at work and reading of your culinary adventures. For someone who started out not knowing how to "cook" you've come a long way!!! Congrats! I'll SO be back for more inspiration!


Posted by: Eric at May 9, 2006 01:28 PM

Just gorgeous, Faith!

Wish I could have some ...

Posted by: Ivonne at May 9, 2006 09:45 PM

Your pictures are lovely and your beans sound and look fabulous. Yum!

Posted by: Julie at May 10, 2006 10:27 AM

Thanks everyone. I am really trying to explore more meals for one with this weblog - I feel like the loner cooks are sometimes an underserved population in the recipe world!

Bea - my sage plant is doing so well, even in the Florida heat, that I am trying to cook with it more. Fried sage leaves - yum!

Eric, I really appreciate it! I feel like I am just getting started, still - I am going to eventually post more about some of my mishaps!

Posted by: faith at May 11, 2006 11:36 AM

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