Monday, October 18, 2010

Curried Butter Beans

This year we joined a CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) for the first time. The whole family loved it. Every Wednesday was like Christmas- we'd go get our bag of fresh veggies and the girls would be so excited to see what new things we would get that week. We got red potatoes, white potatoes, vidalia onions, black eyed peas, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, Pattypan squash, eight ball squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, cabbage, radishes, cucumbers, eggplant, strawberries, butter beans, homemade raspberry preserves, apples, green peppers, and more. In a couple weeks our Fall CSA will start and we can't wait. Even the kids are excited to see what we're going to get in our bag each week.

There are several reasons I loved being a part of the Clayhill Farms CSA. For one, we got veggies that we use on a weekly basis. There weren't any "gourmet" veggies that we would never use, or get the kids to try at the ages they are. It was mostly our staple veggies that we would normally buy, so we saved money on our grocery bill. That being said, there were also a few new veggies that we had never tried, such as butter beans and fresh black eyed peas. These new veggies led to trying a couple new recipes that were actually quite good! And the best thing of all- the kids liked them too!
One of these newer veggies was Butter beans. I had never cooked or eaten them, or even seen them before. So I started researching recipes to see what I could do with them. Most of the recipes I found were Southern, therefore calling for cream or cheese (or both). But I did come across a dairy free recipe that I used as inspiration but changed to fit the ingredients I already had on hand- Curried Butter beans. My husband and I love curry and I add curry powder to several of my dishes so we decided to give this dish a try. It was so easy to make and was very tasty. We agreed it makes a fabulous lunch dish- it's light and very tasty, but it's meatless and low fat so not high in calories.

1lb fresh butter beans, boiled until tender ( if not in season, you could use canned butter beans or Lima beans instead)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 white onion, finely sliced

3 medium tomatoes, pureed in food processor (if you don't have fresh tomatoes use canned tomatoes)

1 can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon crushed or minced garlic

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you like spicy)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Curry powder to taste

White or brown rice

Boil butter beans until soft. Remove from heat and strain ( if using canned omit this step)

Heat oil in a pot, add onions and saute until soft and turning a golden color.
Add mustard seeds, until they begin to pop. Add pureed tomatoes and canned tomatoes.
Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, curry powder,salt and stir.
Let simmer for about 10 minutes, to let all the seasonings mingle. Add Butter beans. Stir and let simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes.
Serve over rice of your choice.

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