Friday, November 26, 2010


November is the perfect time to make this delicious dish, especially if you'd like to make it a bit festive with Beaujolais wine as a drinking companion. It is a fantastic food and wine pairing.

Serves 4

1-1/2 cups dried white beans, soaked overnight and drained
6 small garlic cloves, plus 1/2 tsp mince garlic
4 carrots, cut into 1" lengths
2 celery ribs, halved crosswise
3 large leeks-white parts halved lengthwise, 1 leek green reserved
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 parsnips, quartered lengthwise
7 tablespoons olive oil
Two 2-1/2 pound acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeded, or
peeled, halved, seeded and cut into 1/2" wedges
1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley (definitely use fresh. Leftover parsley
is great chopped with chopped tomatoes and oil & vinegar)
4 teaspoons rosemary leaves (I used 1 tsp dried rosemary leaves
1 tbs thyme leaves (I used a little over 1/2 tsp dried)

You can make it according to the recipe or the way I did it.
See my way after the following procedure:

1. In a large saucepan, combine the beans with 3 garlic cloves,
1/4 of the carrots, the celery, leek green and bay leaf. Cover with
2" of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat for 40
mins. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the beans are
tender, about 1 min. Drain the beans, reserving 2 cups of cooking
liquid. Discard the vegetables.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 450. In a roasting pan, toss the remaing
carrots and garlic cloves, the the parsnips, leek whites, and 3 tbs of
olive oil. Place the squash halves beside the vegetables. Season with
salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 15 mins. Uncover and
roast for 30 mins,stirring occasionally, until the vegtables are tender
and browned. Alternatively, toss the squash wedges with the
vegetables and roast them together.

3. Meanwhile, in a processor, make the pistou: Chop the parsley,
rosemary, and thyme. Blend in the minced garlic (used 3 garlic
cloves) and the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the beans, the reserved cooking liquid and 2 tbs of pistou
to the vegetables and warm over moderate heat. Serve in the squash
halves or in deep bowls with the pistou.

My way: I roasted the parsnips, leeks, carrots, all together.
I did not add any veggies to the cooking beans. I roasted the acorns
separately because I used a toaster oven and a convection oven.
I did not cover the veggies with foil. I thought the dish
would be tastier with more roasted veggies, plus I hate tossing out
good veggies.

Then I sauteed the celery and garlic.

Once the beans were cooked according to recipe minus the veggies,
and the veggies roasted and sauteed, I added them all together with
enough water to allow them to simmer for awhile blending all
flavors. The original recipe calls for 2 cups of liquid, so add according
to how soupy you want it. First add enough to simmer, then more if
desired. I then used the acorn squash as bowls, ladeled in some
veggies, poured the pistou over each bowl, and voila!

Then I sauteed the celery and garlic

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