I frequent the clearance section of the grocery store, looking for cheap produce on its way out that can use a little love. A few weeks ago I came upon a giant package of sprouting Spanish garlic for pennies. I’m not quite sure why sprouting garlic is a bad thing…I don’t even bother “de-germing” it, I just chop it all up like any old cloves. But this box had more garlic than I could possibly use within a reasonable length of time. I brought it home and planted the cloves, sprout side up, in a plastic salad box. Nothing fancy – all they need is a little potting soil, semi-daily drinks of water, and some sunshine. In about a week or two they transform into a luscious bush of garlic greens, ready to eat. They taste and smell like garlic, but a lot milder, and more spring-like. Perfect for my impatient quest to find something spring-y to eat.
Today’s recipe is a collision of a few things and ideas. Spring? Obviously! But also these creamy beans from Orangette (the 7 minute egg is a game changer), the idea of “beanotto” (like risotto made of beans) from Vegetarian Everyday, and the green garlic bush in my living room window, of course.
This may look a little fancy, though I hate using that word to describe food, but it’s actually pretty darn simple. If you can make pasta or risotto, you’ve got this. Canned beans are simmered with shallots, butter, and white wine (sold yet?)…then chopped asparagus + parm get tossed in at the end. While all of this is happening, the 7 minute eggs cooks themselves. Spring onions, chives, or ramps, if you’re so lucky (I’m looking at you, Sandra), make great subs for the garlic greens. Feel free to make it vegan by skipping the egg, swapping in some olive oil for the butter, and substituting the cheese with some nutritional yeast – if that’s your thing!
Happy Friday, friends :)
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 – 14oz cans of white kidney beans (I like this brand)
- 4 eggs
- large handful of asparagus stalks, trimmed, and roughly chopped (about 2 cups when chopped)
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano + more to finish
- chopped garlic greens, lemon zest, and black pepper for garnish
- sea salt, to taste
- Warm the butter in a large saute pan and cook the chopped shallot, with a generous pinch of salt, over low-medium heat for about 5 minutes, until softened.
- Add the wine, increase heat to medium-high, and cook to reduce the liquid by about half.
- Empty the beans (don’t drain them – the liquid is what makes them creamy), into the pan, lower heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the liquid reduces and the beans are creamy.
- While the beans are cooking, bring a small pot of water to a boil and prepare all of the other ingredients (asparagus, cheese, and garnishes)
- When the beans are close to being done, taste them and add salt. It’s hard to give a quantity since canned beans widely range in salinity, but this is where you need to make sure that they’re well seasoned. Keep in mind that the cheese will lend a little saltiness too.
- When the water is boiling and the beans are simmering, stir in the asparagus and grated cheese, cover the pot, and remove from heat. Gently lower the eggs into the boiling water, and set a timer for 7 minutes. 7 minutes will perfectly cook the egg, gently cook the asparagus so that it’s softened, but still vibrant, and melt the cheese.
- Drain the eggs and run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Give the creamy beanotto another stir, plate it, then peel the eggs, cut into them to release the yolks, and serve on top.
- Garnish with greens, more cheese, lemon zest, black pepper, and season with more salt, if necessary.