Like most of you, we are trying to go as long as possible without going food shopping, and part of that is getting a regular delivery from Baldor every 10 days or so. Once we get to Days 9 and 10, which is where we are right now, it becomes all about stretching out what we have and cooking down the pantry. I had started our trusty No-Knead bread (using all white whole wheat flour) on Tuesday night, so going into Wednesday’s dinner, I knew that would be on the table. But what else…?
Pantry: Victoria’s Harissa-Honey Beans
…Well, there’s a lot to be said about the scourge of social media, but sometimes the stars align, and you come across something like these beans that offer at least a little redemption. They were on Victoria Granof’s instagram feed (I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me call her a genius after writing about her for 10 years), and this was her caption: “Oh beans, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: 2) @rancho_gordo Corona beans, half a jar of @mina harissa (says spicy on the label but it’s not), a swig of olive oil, a dribble of honey, and some dill…” I happened to have everything she called for — even a bag of Rancho Gordo beans (though they were lima) which I promptly added to the instant pot. If you don’t have dried beans (or enough time to soak and simmer dried beans), canned white will work just fine. This is how I interpreted her shorthand.
Victoria’s Honey-Harissa Beans
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons harissa (or tomato paste plus a pinch of cayenne if you don’t have harissa)
squeeze honey (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup (ish?) chicken or vegetable broth
3 cups (2 14-ounce cans) cooked white beans (such as lima, cannellini, navy)
Add oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and carrot and cook until vegetables have softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, harissa, and cook until harissa deepens in color and gets toasty, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in honey. Stir in beans and enough broth to make it saucy (not soupy). Heat until warmed through. Serve with a good crusty bread and garnish with dill.
Project: Quick Pickling
Not all quarantine projects are the kinds of things best served warm with ice cream. Part of clearing out the refrigerator for the next round of groceries is not wasting the odds and ends of what’s left over. Enter: Quick pickling. I mean, you could do real pickling, of course, but that’s a legit project that requires actual technique and gear. You can decide you want to quick pickle something at 11:30 am and have cabbages (or wax beans or carrots or onions or radishes or peppers) steeping in their pickling liquid by 11:45, which accurately tells the story of my Thursday morning. (Note: For legit pickles, book owners can see page 137 of How to Celebrate Everything.)
Here’s how to do it: Slice and chop your vegetables then stuff into a jar. In a small pot, simmer 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup red or white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt until the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly, then pour the pickling liquid over your vegetables. Let cool, then refrigerate for 24 hours for best results. You can also add herbs (dill, thyme) and peppercorns to the liquid and switch up the vinegars. Note: I tripled the recipe for the batch you see above since it was an extra large jar.
Purpose: Tell Me Something Good
I need some good news. What has brought you joy lately? What has brought you comfort? What has inspired you? Comment below and I’ll send out a free book (any of mine) to the comment that gets the most likes by the end of the week. Yes! You can like comments, did you know that? (Just please, honor code, don’t like your own more than once 🙂 Inspire us!
Stay safe, stay home.
The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, and connected. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your daily routine is, and especially how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at email@example.com.