Monday, December 22, 2014

This is a Test: Spinach and White Bean Stew

I'm testing recipes for my forthcoming book, Red Velvet Underground: A Memoir with Recipes, and today was the perfect day to test Spinach and White Bean Stew, a garlicky, nourishing meal-in-a-bowl, the perfect lunch at home. Try it! And let me know how it turns out...

Spinach and White Bean Stew

This dish is rich and flavorful, as if you worked on it for hours, but it comes together in 15 minutes thanks to the use of canned beans and pre-washed baby spinach. This was a great recipe to teach to my teenage son—it’s foolproof and satisfying! It is one of my favorite winter lunches or quick suppers. Serve with a good-quality baguette or hunk of bread.

Yield: 3-4 Servings

4 tablespoons olive oil (plus more, optional, to drizzle on top)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 cans small white beans, drained
1 scant tablespoon dried thyme
2 cups water
½ lb. bag pre-washed baby spinach or baby kale
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (plus more, optional, to sprinkle on top)

1. Warm olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook one minute, stirring constantly.

2. Add beans, thyme and water, bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered ten minutes.

3. Add spinach in big handfuls, stirring to incorporate and wilt.

4. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

5. Let soup sit and cool off for a few minutes to allow flavors to meld. Serve with optional olive oil and red pepper flakes on top.