Be my heart-healthy valentine. Flageolet, the “caviar of beans,” are tiny, tender and French – their creamy white texture and delicate flavor create this dreamy dish, a seductive ménage a trois with slow-roasted tomatoes and fresh spinach.
Don’t dare substitute navy beans – just skip this recipe if you can’t find sophisticated flageolet (we order the heirloom beans at ranchogordo.com). Low in fat and high in fiber, these beans are good for your (sweet)heart. The recipe takes a little time, but let supper simmer while you heat up the romance.
Bean My Valentine
4 ripe tomatoes
1/2 pound dried flageolet beans, soaked at least 4 hours
1 carrot, peeled and cut in half
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
3 cups fresh spinach
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking pan with parchment. Slice the tomatoes in half; arrange cut side up on baking sheet, then season with salt. Roast about 3 hours. Remove from oven and set aside.
Drain the beans and put in a large pot with carrot and onion. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until tender, about 2 hours. Remove the carrot and onion.
Drain the cooked beans, reserving 2 cups of liquid. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add the celery and cook about 2 minutes. Add the beans and reserved cooking liquid. Stir in slow-roasted tomatoes and spinach. Cover and cook about 2 minutes, just until spinach is wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.