So I was going to get all ranty on here about an ad I saw the other day, and medicine and concern-trolling and the “headless fatty” phenomenon. Maybe someday soon, I will.
But you know what? It’s been a gorgeous sun-drenched week in San Francisco, and I made some damn delicious beans the other night. I’m not going to let The Advertising Man get me down.
Usually, I have a cute little story for the things I make. But there’s not much in this case: a can of white beans, some tomatoes, a few fresh sage leaves, a thin-sliced shallot and a splash of vinegar. The real surprise here is the texture, which comes from a quick, middling-heat pan-fry in olive oil. The beans wrinkle and brown, like SPF-averse LA surfers; the skins become glibly crisp and nutty, almost reminiscent of almonds. Add meaty tomatoes, sweet-sharp caramelized shallots, a little tangy vinegar-bite, and the warmth of red and black pepper, and you’ve got one tee-riffic side dish.
Pan-Fried Tuscan Beans (serves 3-4 as a side dish)
1 15-oz. can white, butter or cannellini beans, drained and thoroughly dried
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
4-5 large fresh sage leaves
Pinch of crushed red chili
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Salt to taste
Heat olive oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and sage leaves and saute for a minute or two, then add the beans. Pan-fry, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the beans begin to crinkle and tan.
Add red chili flake and black pepper, and toss to combine. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring a couple times. Meanwhile, crush the drained tomatoes lightly with your hands to break them up a bit. (You don’t have to do this, but I’m a freak of nature who can’t deal with intact chunks of tomato in my food.)
When the beans are nice and toasty and the shallots have caramelized a little bit, add the tomatoes and red wine vinegar. Stir to combine, and cook for a minute just to heat the tomatoes through. Fish out the sage leaves, then add salt to your liking and serve hot.