The staples in my pantry include lots of canned beans: garbanzo, kidney, black beans, cannellini and giant white butter beans. Canned beans are great for making spur of the moment dips, soups and side dishes.
Beans are also a great source of protein. Which is probably why any given night, I can often find my friend Dano, my daughter or a wandering vegetarian in my pantry, in search of beans.
One of my go-to favorites are giant white butter beans. They have a buttery taste and creamy texture. They lend themselves to so many dishes and seasonings.
For the antipasto platter, I marinate them with chopped chives for freshness, purple onions for depth of flavor and diced red pepper for crunch and color. I find sherry vinegar less assertive than red wine or balsamic vinegar.
No matter how much of this I make, nothing is ever thrown away. If there are a few leftover beans, I toss them in a salad the next day, as I did in Act II of this dinner.
MARINATED BUTTER BEANS
EVENT: Weeknight Sit-in-the-Kitchen Dinner
SERVES: 4-6 People, as Part of Appetizer Platter
2 (14 oz each) cans white butter beans, drained
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup minced purple onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1. In a medium bowl, combine drained beans, diced red pepper, purple onions and chives.
2. In separate bowl, whisk together sherry vinegar and olive oil.
3. Combine dressing with beans.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.