Spring Vegetable Stew with Garlic Bread

by Jennifer

This recipe comes from the Chicago Tribune, at least 8 years old as that’s when we moved from Chicago to Massachusetts.  I’ve adapted it a bit, but it’s still easy to put together and delicious.  You can serve it over rice or pasta, or with garlic bread (see below).

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, sliced diagonally into roughly 1” pieces
  • 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 25 – 26 oz. canned/boxed chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 15 oz. can small white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan for serving

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.

Add shallots, scallions and fennel seeds and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.

Add artichoke hearts, broth, tomatoes and beans and cook over low heat until

asparagus is crisp-tender, about 12 minutes.  Stir in salt and pepper, and serve with a generous sprinkling of cheese.

For Garlic Bread:

  • 1 baguette, sliced diagonally
  • Garlic Oil (heat 1/3 – 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil over low heat with 3 – 4 cloves garlic, chopped, for about 5 minutes;  keeps in fridge for a couple weeks)
  • Dried oregano
  • Sea salt

Preheat broiler.

Brush bread slices with Garlic Oil, sprinkle with dried oregano and salt, then broil until crisp and the edges are golden, about 2 minutes.

Garlicky Stewed White Beans with Mixed Peppers, No – Knead Bread

by Jennifer

The beauty of No-Knead Bread is you can make the dough days in advance and then, presto, you have fresh-baked bread for dinner.  Tonight I decided to broil mozzarella cheese on top of slices of bread;  you could serve it as is, with really good olive oil to dip it in, or sprinkled with Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano and broiled.

Serves 4.

Garlicky Stewed White Beans with Mixed Peppers – adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow or red pepper, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage, or 1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil, then add the chopped peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until they just start to become tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant.

Add the water, sage, beans and tomatoes with their juice;  bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally,

for 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly.  Season with pepper.

White Bean and Mushroom Stuffed Bell Peppers, Challah

by Jennifer

This is my adaptation of a recipe I cut out of a newspaper (can’t remember which one!  Chicago Tribune?) ages ago.  You can make the filling and stuff the peppers ahead;  top with the panko mixture right before baking.  It serves 3 – 6, depending on if you serve anything else with it, or if some of the people eating are smaller, or have smaller appetites.

  • 3 large bell peppers, any color
  • 4 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 oz white mushrooms, stems removed, sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 15.5-oz cans cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 oz. package fresh basil, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or an estimation of that amount)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Slice peppers lengthwise and clean out seeds and membranes.  Place in a casserole dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 TBS of olive oil, and saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes.

Add the mushrooms, turning the heat up to medium high, and cook until

the mushrooms are golden, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes.

Add the beans, basil, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits.  Remove the skillet from heat.

Fill the peppers with the bean and mushroom mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine the panko and Parmesan cheese.  Drizzle in the remaining 2 TBS olive oil and stir well to combine.

Sprinkle the panko mixture over the peppers.  Add 2 TBS water to the casserole dish.

Bake the peppers, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the filling is hot (if the topping gets too brown, gently tent a piece of foil over the dish).

Spanish White Beans with Spinach, Olive and Red Onion Bread

by Jennifer

This adaptation from Gourmet magazine is fast and delicious.  I had another loaf of Olive and Red Onion Bread in the freezer and defrosted it;  feel free substitute your favorite crusty bread.

Serves 4.

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (packed) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 6 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 29 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 oz. baby spinach

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large pot over medium heat;  add onions, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden, 6 – 8 minutes.

Add garlic and paprika and cook, stirring, for a minute.

Add beans, water, spinach, and salt and pepper to taste, stir, and cook, covered, over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring once, or until spinach is wilted.

Serve with remaining 2 TBS olive oil drizzled on top.