Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spigariello, Navy Beans with Roasted Bell Pepper (No Added Fat)

At the Carrboro Farmers' Market today, a farmer was selling an interesting sounding vegetable called spigariello, a leaf broccoli. He suggested cooking it uncut with a little bit of olive oil. I bought one bunch and thought that I would pan saute it, but then decided to cook it waterlessly. Here is what I did.

  • 1 clove garlic, finely (1/8") diced
  • 3T onion (3/8" cubes)
  • 1 bunch spigariello (or broccoli rabe), rinsed and ends cut off
  • About half dozen drops balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 t (or to taste) salt
  • 1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
  1. I put, in this order, the onion, garlic, and spigarello into a large Saladmaster stock pan. I cooked waterlessly - i.e., I covered the pan and heated it on medium high until the vapor release started jiggling, then I reduced the heat to low till the jiggle stopped. I let it cook for about 20 minutes.
  2. I mixed in the vinegar, salt, and pepper, and served.
I also made a white bean dish; I used navy beans, but cannellini or lima beans would also work great. I had my wife cook 1 1/2 cups beans in the Instant Pot pressure cooker after soaking them. When I came home, I roasted a bell pepper and, after it cooled, cut it into approx. 1/2" squares. I mixed into the beans the bell pepper, as well as 1/4 cup onion (3/8" cubes), 1/4 t garlic powder, 1/2 t turmeric, 1t ground cumin, 1T fresh squeezed lemon juice, and 1/4 t salt.

I quite liked dinner; the greens were good and reminded me a bit of chard, and the beans were good and filling. My family thought that the spigriello was "okay" but loved the beans.

Ideas for the future

I wanted to prepare the spigariello simply this first time, but am interested in exploring further. I generally cook with no added fat, but maybe using a little crunch, such as commercially available crispy onions, might be nice with the greens. The greens would also go well with crispy seitan or tempeh. I found some ideas about using spigariello with lentils or in lasagne; that would be fun to try. As to the beans, I should cook beans and roasted peppers together again once in a while; it's a good combination.

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