Lemony White Beans with Pesto

Lemony White Beans with Pesto

                                    Lemony White Beans with Pesto.

Lemony White Beans with PestoMy Lemony White Beans with Pesto is such a versatile dish! It can be used as a stand alone vegan meal or served over a short pasta such as orecchiette, gemelli or other; serve it over rice or spread it on toasts for a delicious appetizer! So you will want to make a good sized batch to use in whatever way you choose! I love it over pasta, especially over organic orecchiette and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese! I used a pound of dried white beans cooked in aromatics and just enough water to cover the beans so that when done there is not a lot of broth; I like dried tarbais or cannellini beans. If using canned beans, do not drain so you have a bit of broth. I made a large batch of pesto with organic arugula, organic spinach and pine nuts, but again you can use pre-made jarred pesto of choice. This dish needs a good amount of lemon juice and should be well salted. A fresh green salad is a perfect accompaniment to my Lemony White Beans with Pesto!

The basic ingredients are:

1 pound dried white beans or 3-4 cans, undrained

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (used throughout the recipe)

1 organic onion, peeled and chopped, divided

2 organic green garlic stalks or scallions or 1 leek, chopped

1 cup organic chopped celery

1 tablespoon herbes de Provence, divided

2 bay leaves if using dried beans

Homemade pesto or 3-4 jars of pre-made pesto

Organic lemon juice(used throughout the recipe)

Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

Organic short pasta like orecchiette or other, if using

Grated parmesan cheese, optional

Prepare the beans:

In a stockpot combine the beans, a dredge of olive oil, 2 bay leaves, half of the herbes de Provence, half of the chopped onion, salt, pepper and water to just cover the beans. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes then simmer for an hour or so until beans are cooked through and tender. There should be a slight amount of bean broth, remove from heat and discard the bay leaves, keep in the pot. (Note: if using canned beans: do not drain the beans, transfer them to a stockpot with a dredge of olive oil, half of the onion,  salt and pepper and half of the herbes de Provence, set aside)

Prepare the pesto if making homemade:

Pack a food processor with a combination of organic spinach, arugula and or kale with olive oil, organic lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic, salt and pepper, pine nuts; blend this combination until smooth. Set aside

In a fry pan, heat some olive oil to medium high

Add the rest of chopped onion, chopped green garlic and chopped celery

sauté with the rest of the herbes de Provence, dash of salt and pepper

Stir in the pesto and a good amount of lemon juice

Pour this pesto sauce into the pot of beans

Add more lemon juice and salt if needed

Simmer the beans on medium low for another 10-12 minutes until broth is cooked down, remove from heat and let rest covered

In the meantime cook the pasta to al dente, drain 

Transfer pasta  to a separate pot and dredge with olive oil

Place pasta in deep dishes and ladle the lemony pesto beans over the pasta

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if using

Serve with a fresh green salad and wine of choice! Enjoy!

Note: You can also just serve the beans alone in deep bowls or serve over rice, if desired. Beans can also be spread on toasts as an appetizer!

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