Over the weekend, the weather continued in the minus temperatures here in Amsterdam. So cold, that a couple of the canals were frozen over and the ice was thick enough for people to skate on! Well, this Canuck shunned the frosty temps and spent her time in the kitchen making a cozy meal to share with friends.
I found a version of this recipe a long time ago in the Toronto Star. I’ve made it so many times, and with many variations, I tend to use what I have on hand and adjust it for the number of people I have over. It begins with simple ingredients, and is equally simple to make.
Lately, I’ve been doing some reading on brain health and have been adding more rosemary to my dishes. My mother was always studying something of interest to her: astrology, Spanish language, the art of stained glass, gardening, the healing powers of herbs. She told me about rosemary for “remembrance.” Much earlier, the Bard, in his wisdom, notes via Ophelia, in Hamlet: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember.” Act IV, sc v. The current research echoes these sentiments showing that rosemary does indeed contribute to keeping our memory in tip top shape. For this reason, it is one of the layers of flavour in this dish. Garlic is its sidekick with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial properties to keep us going in the end of these wintery months.
Read on, here is the recipe… I hope you enjoy it, perhaps with a glass of your favourite red. And here’s a glimpse into the winter wonderland that was Amsterdam this past weekend 🙂 Happy days, all. Eat good food.
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil + more to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 cans (796ml) diced or crushed tomatoes
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 4 cans (398 ml) cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 2 Tbsps finely chopped parsley, more for garnish
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil and rosemary on medium heat, in a heavy-bottomed medium-large sized pot. (I use my Le Creuset cast iron stewing pot.) Stir the rosemary for about a minute, until it begins to darken. Then add the sliced garlic and stir for another minute.
- Add the canned tomatoes and salt. Turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the juices evaporate and tomatoes start to look glossy. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Next, stir in the drained beans, and stock. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the excess liquid evaporates, about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parsley and pepper. Adjust salt to your taste.
- This makes four healthy main course servings.