Friday, June 1, 2007

Marrow Beans In Garlic, Olive Oil, Lemon And Oregano

Another bean post. This time 'round I've cooked up the Marrow beans that I recently bought from Rancho Gordo's in Napa, California. In my last post about his beans, I forgot to tell you that Steve Sando, and his beans, may be found, fondled (yes!) and purchased Saturday mornings at the San Francisco Ferry Building farmers market.

And just in case Steve reads this and thinks I'm vying to be chosen to test recipes from his up coming book, Heirloom Beans: Recipes from Rancho Gordo, yes, I am. I didn't start out to, honest, but once I started posting about his beans, the idea did occur to me. I may as well be honest about it, right?

Lusciously creamy with a light taste that can take on the flavors of what it's paired with, in this case, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic and fresh oregano, this bean will keep its shape after cooking yet can be mashed into a light and fluffy spread for crackers or artisan bread.

I cooked the beans without bay leaves this time; just clean, fresh water after a 6-hour soaking. After they were cooked for about 45 minutes, I drained them (saving the cooking liquid) and allowed them to come to room temperature.

For this dish, I heated extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet then added a fresh bay leaf that had been torn in half and allowed to permeate the hot olive oil for about 5 minutes. After fishing the bay leaf parts out, I gently sauteed minced garlic in the olive oil. Fresh lemon juice, a bit of salt, freshly chopped oregano and some of the cooking liquid rounded out the ingredients. The beans were then tossed with this mixture and I've got to say, the combination was delightful.

Marrow Beans in Garlic, Olive Oil, Lemon and Oregano
Christine's original recipe
2 1/2 cups Rancho Gordo dry Marrow beans soaked and then cooked in fresh, cold water
For each 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans:
1 fresh bay leaf, torn in half
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon (or more to taste) fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons bean cooking liquid
kosher salt to taste
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the torn bay leaf and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Keep the heat low so the oil does not smoke.
Remove the bay leaf pieces from the skillet and add the minced garlic, cooking until just fragrant and slightly golden, about 2 minutes.
Off the heat, pour the skillet contents over about 1 1/2 cups of the cooked beans, tossing gently. Add the lemon and the bean cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time until the consistency you desire.
Gently stir in the chopped oregano and season with the kosher salt.
Serve warm or at room temperature along side your main dinner dish, or with crackers as an appetizer.

Dare I enter two bean posts, back to back, to Weekend Herb Blogging? Since I'm going to be gone this weekend, and this will be my only post until next week, yes is the answer. Back with our fearless originator this week, the wonderful Kalyn will post her round-up on Sunday. Be sure to check it out! Want to join in the fun? Click here to see how it's done.

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