This post could also be called “How I fed my family of five a hearty meal with amazing ingredients for $10.00 and still had leftovers”, but it’s not.
“White Bean and Sausage Stew” seemed a bit more appropriate.
My CSA recently announced that dried beans are now an optional box add-on. This is so exciting to me because I love me some beans! I had never, ever cooked white beans before (I know, it’s terrible) so I opted for the “organic white garden beans” in last week’s box. It was time to experiment.
I did some research, sorted through some recipes, talked to my Chef friend and combined ideas to come up with what I think is one of the tastier CSA creations I have cooked up. 🙂 I also love that the beans, scallions (green onions), thyme and rosemary are all local items from my CSA. I meant to throw in some kale from my box and totally forgot. Furthermore, had I planned ahead, I could have ordered some stewed heirloom tomatoes in my box in place of the grape tomatoes. Next time. This time around, here’s how it came together:
1 pound of white beans
1 large or 2 small scallions
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 large sausage of your choice (I used Whole Foods’ chicken jalapeno sausage…about 1/2 pound)
4 slices of bacon, chopped and cooked crispy
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Start with your beans. My bag had 2 pounds of beans, and I used roughly half of it. I forgot to soak them last night so I soaked them this morning for about 4 or 5 hours.
A couple hours before I wanted to serve dinner, I set them to simmer with 1 sliced large scallion (if yours are small, maybe slice two), 2 bay leaves and some pink himalayan sea salt. I added enough water so that there is about an inch of water over the beans and simmered for about an hour.
Make sure you use a pot larger than you think you need. I had mine in a saucepan at first, but these beans foamed up something crazy and spilled over. Nice.
Once beans were in a proper sized pot, I pulsed about a cup of grape tomatoes in the food processor until chopped well. You could slice them in half if you like them chunkier or puree if you don’t want chunks at all. It’s up to you.
I then cooked up one chicken and jalapeno sausage from Whole Foods. It’s seriously a half pound sausage so I only needed one. I didn’t cook it all the way through, just toasted it up on all sides so that it would hold together when I sliced it for the stew.
Once beans are fairly tender (this was about an hour and 15 minutes in for me), add the tomatoes, sliced sausage pieces, thyme and rosemary.
Cover and simmer for another 45 minutes or until desired thickness is reached, stirring occasionally.
While it simmered, I cooked up some nitrate free/uncured bacon (ends and pieces from Trader Joe’s is a great deal!) and (confession time), some corn bread. Yum.
I served it up hot with crispy bacon and buttered corn bread. It doesn’t get much better.
Wait, yeah it does…leftovers tomorrow.