Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Behold the Humble Butter Bean

This little experiment was inspired by a dish I had at the Black Bottle in Seattle this past summer. I've eaten there my last two trips and oh god, do they ever do small dishes well. I'm not sure if the Portabello Grilled and Butter Bean Salad currently on the menu is the same one I had. I don't recall portabello, mostly I just remember firm, slippery dilly butter beans. I just had a flashback to taking notes (I'm a nerd that way); if I'd remembered that (and where they are) I could have saved myself a lot of trouble. I do recall the smoked chicken and cherry tomato flatbread pretty much blowing my mind. Oh goodness, mouth starting to water.

This Butter Bean

Not This Butterbean

Before that meal at the Black Bottle I was ignorant to the magic of the butter bean. I'm totally on Team Legume, but the butter bean had slipped past me. Because, well, they're lima beans, and lima beans are pretty much the Danny Wood of the bean world.*

I'm going to be all bougie and call them butter beans. It elevates them to Joe McIntyre status. **

I was working from the dried variety. Something about the slimy amniotic fluid of canned beans really skeeves me out, so I only use them in the case of emergency hummus. The bean bag said to put them in a pot of cold water, bring to a boil for two minutes, then turn off the heat and soak them for 1 hour. I was in a bit of a hurry so I ended up bringing the water back to a boil after about a 1/2 hour,  which would have been fine if I'd removed them from the water as soon as they hit the optimum soft-but-firm stage (did you just giggle? I did!), but I was stuffing a trout (that's for a later post) and let them sit. They were a little mushy. Lesson learned ... mind your beans.

Since all I could remember about my Black Bottle beans was that they were dilly and delicious I tried my butter beans two ways.

Soy and Dill Blackened Butter Beans

This was inspired by a few recipes I found from googling Dill Butter Beans. It's dead simple.

Heat approximately 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan.
Toss in 1 crushed garlic clove and about a tablespoon of chopped fresh dill.
Stir for a minute then add about 2 cups of cooked beans.
Add a dash of Braggs's (regular low-sodium soy will do too), salt and pepper and toss in pan until they begin to blacken, being careful to not burn.

Serve warm. Makes a fantastic side for trout. I could see it rocking up chicken or pork too.  Especially barbeque.

Chilled Lemon-Dill Beans

This is even dead simplier.

Toss about 2 cups of cooked beans with a dash of olive oil, several of white wine vinegar, juice of  1/2 to 1 whole lemon, about a tablespoon of fresh chopped dill, salt and pepper.

This version was best chilled. I imagine it would be very satisfying served with a crisp white wine in the shade of a willow tree on a spring picnic. Especially if that picnic had some cold barbeque ribs.

* Mid-thirties person joke for people who remember New Kids on the Block from the first time around. Danny was pretty much the New Kid that no one cared about. Though one of my Teen Beat/Bop/Big Bopper magazines said that he was left handed, so he was alright with me. Anyone want to fill me in on who the Jonas Brothers equivalent would be?

** I may or may not have been the person in the 76th row standing on her chair screaming 'Joe, I want to have your babies!', thus fully horrifying my mother who had accompanied my sisters and I to Vancouver for the show. Weird thing was, I'd always been a Jon Knight girl. But Little Joey ... I had no resolve against his stage charisima.


  1. Dude, have you ever tried their curried cauliflower and potato dish? Most delicious cauliflower I've EVER eaten. Fuck yeah.

  2. I will put it on my 'to eat' list for next time I'm in Seattle. We should go some time. You'd be GTs.

  3. I am stoked about this website! Maybe now I can finally cook like a real Gignac, and not their culinarily retarded inbred cousin.

    Also, mom wasn't the only one horrified by you at that concert. But for different reasons. Joey was MINE!

  4. Some people are fat, some people are lean.
    But I want you to show me the person who doesn't like butterbeans Yay!"

    B-52's (1983) Song, 'Butterbean'