At a recent dinner at Ramblas in San Francisco, Michele and I enjoyed an incredibly simple, yet deeply flavorful shelling bean ragout. Ramblas is our favorite Spanish restaurant in the City, and the big, meaty beans were stewed with corn, citrus, and currants.
In fact, I was so impressed with this dish I swore to myself the next time I saw fresh shelling beans, I would attempt something similar. A week later I was shopping in Berkeley and saw a beautiful pile of cranberry beans (another common name for shelling beans).
I was so happy, and my mouth watered thinking back to that great crock of beans. I'm sure as I stuffed them into the bag, I had one of those deranged smiles that had on-lookers wondering, "What the hell is wrong with that guy."
As you watch this video, I can understand if the combination of ingredients seems a little strange, but trust me, this is a fantastic vegetable dish. It's my new favorite side dish, which is funny since I can't seem to wait for the main course to eat it.
At the end of the video, I garnish the dish with a spoon of something called gremolata. I've already filmed this for another recipe, which isn't live yet, so you will get to see that made, but for now here's all you need to know. Gremolata is simply fresh parsley minced with some raw garlic and lemon zest, moistened with a little olive oil.
This sharp, raw green sauce, along with a little more freshly zested lemon takes a great bean dish and turns it into something spectacular. Enjoy!
Ingredients (these amounts are complete guesses):
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves sliced garlic
1 cup shelling beans
1 cup fresh corn
2 tbsp dried currants
chicken broth as needed (about 1 1/2 cups total, maybe, possibly)
1/4 cup diced fresh ripe tomato
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
gremolata (see description in post)