hearty winter warmers
The weather is timidly getting a tad more wintery in Athens. We have officially entered December and I just cannot bring myself to do any Christmas decorating. I guess it’s a little too sunny. I am very happy working my way through hearty stews though. I think I nailed a very nice one with beans, mushrooms and carrots, part of my competition challenges for the Vima food blog awards, think humble ingredients.
I got my hazelnut coloured beans in Florina from a local producer, back in April. I still remember this spring outing quite fondly, the snow had not fully melted yet. I reckon lots of fresh snow is on its way down the slopes soonish. To be honest, it is just the right time of the year to visit the North of Greece. A little chillier than mild Athens weather but with a lot of beautiful white peaks, scenic countryside and wonderful hikes! Yes, I am thinking of holidays.
Back to the stew though. The lovely chestnutty beans are a wonder to look at and taste. I believe these beans go by the name Roman beans or cranberry beans in the US. I couldn’t find them at all in London, so I would normally make this stew with the common beans or broad beans. I think I have also discovered why you would not see them as often: we are dealing with some tough nuts here, add an extra 30 minutes boiling time from your normal beans. They need their soaking, too, so take your time with them. Both when cooking and eating. Do not rush it!
- 250 gr beans (cannellini beans or broad beans also work great)
- 200 gr mushrooms
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 2 ripe tomatoes or 200 gr tinned tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 large onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
Tips: Remember to adjust boiling time according to the type of beans you are using.
What to do:
- Soak the beans overnight
- Rinse the beans and boil with the carrots until tender.
- Sautee the onions and garlic with a bit of olive oil
- Add in the chopped mushrooms along with the tomato and paprika.
- Add in your sauce a ladleful of the broth your beans have been boiling in.
- Boil the sauce for 8-10 minutes.
- Transfer the boiled beans, carrots and mushroom sauce in a baking tray and mix well.
- Cover with a lid or foil and bake in a fan assisted oven at 180 oC for 45 minutes.
Enjoy with lots of fresh bread.
PS This is part of my challenges for VIMA food blog competition, delicious food using humble ingredients. Have you voted? Here is the link, just click on the image below to get directed to my profile.by