Monday, October 21, 2013

Frugal Foodie on a British Pound: Smooth as Butter

There are times when I am very thankful for the time difference between my current place of residence and the region of the world where most Munchable readers are situated. This is one of those times. Instead of doing the vast amounts of reading assigned for tomorrow, I am instead sneaking a blog post at an hour decent for folks back home. So what's on the menu this week in starving student* land? 

Butter beans. Phaseolus lunatus. Or, as most of us know them, lima beans (I actually didn't know this until I started researching this post)! Domesticated back at least two millennia in the Andean neighborhood, the lil' lunatus made its way to the Old World aroudn 1500. And it actually depends where in the world you are as to whether butter and lima beans are distinct, and what are their defining characteristics. Adding to the mix of South American origin, and northern European and American consumption, I went ahead and made a pretty classic Italian dish, with a tomato sauce. Hearty, healthy, and cheap!

Fagiolo di Spagna al'Italiano (Italian Butter Beans)
1 cup butter beans, cooked from dry
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tsp dry basil
1 tsp olive oil
Salt to taste

1. Heat oil in a deep frying pan on medium heat. Sautee onions and garlic until fragrant and soft.
2. Add entire can of tomatoes, cooked beans, and basil. Allow to simmer, ideally covered, for 20-30 minutes, so that flavors can meld and beans can get really soft (and buttery...hehe).
3. Salt to taste and serve with polenta and a side of winter greens (eat more kale!).

Enjoy more tasty dishes from Wellness Weekend.

*No students were actually starved in the writing of this post.

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