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Fagioli alla fagiolara (Italian bean stew)

An Elizabeth David recipe widely emulated. Without meat and little added fat this is savoury and satisfying. Fantastic with fresh beans from the market.

250 g dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight (or 800 g fresh beans, I have used borlotti)
1/2 onion
1/2 stick celery
2 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
2-3 sage leaves
1 sprig fresh fresh rosemary
1.2 L water
2 tb olive oil
2 tsp salt
pepper

Place all ingredients except salt and pepper in a soaked terracotta pot or cast iron pot. Cover and cook slowly. For dried beans let it simmer about 2 hours, half that for fresh beans. Check occasionally for consistency and that the liquid has not evapourated all away – the beans should be well coated in starchy liquid at the end. 20 minutes before finish add the salt.

Remove the onion and celery and season with pepper. Serve with fruity olive oil and a few drops of vinegar on top.

For a more hearty version chop the onion and celery at the start and leave in. Add parboiled potatoes in chunks, parsnip, carrot or other starchy vegetables

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Cold Cucumber Kim Chee

A fantastic Japanese / Korean tsukemono (pickle) that is eaten together with the refreshing pickling fluid. Good on a hot day with barbecued or spicy dishes. The original recipes says it is a good remedy for hangovers, too. I was not able to verify that.

Continue reading Cold Cucumber Kim Chee