Haricot beans and pumpkin

A pan on stove with beans and cut up pumpkin and sweet potato

As a cook, I’d say my forte is ‘gunge’. OK, it’s never going to win a beauty contest but the concoction is reliable and balanced. What more do you want from a lifetime companion?

I had covered the dried organic haricots beans with water, soaking them overnight. The next day, I struck a light under their pan’s bottom and let the beans simmer away in bubbling hot water for a good hour and a half.

I fried a whole onion (sliced) in olive oil and added a dried chili, finely sliced. Wait. Chili is important. I did not discover it until mid-life. If it passed me by, could it have passed you by too? If so, I beg you to experiment with the fiery creature. Let me know how you get on.

I then attacked the half of a butternut pumpkin loitering in a forgotten corner of the fridge and after peeling and de-seeding it, then cutting it in cubes, I hurled it into the frying onions. After that, I felt calmer. After adding more olive oil, I let it slowly braise with the onions (with Neil Basilo’s tips for unctuousness ringing in my ears), stirring it occasionally to stop the mixture sticking.

Typically, I then lost my focus and did something else. Not good for a dish. It feels neglected and doesn’t give its all. Realising the pumpkin had gone too soft, I quickly peeled, cubed and boiled a sweet potato in another pan. This flirtation with another veg produced fresh bright orangeness (although I felt a bit disloyal to the overcooked pumpkin). Then I assembled them all with the drained beans (see above).

When the time came to serve, I heated it all up again extremely hot with brown rice from the night before (always blast cooked-again food with bug-obliterating heat).

Having morphed into a kind of risotto and topped with some fresh organic leaves, the dish didn’t look half bad (see below) and tasted even better.

Voilà – a classic gunge. Everyday fare. Might not get a fanfare. But treats you fair.

Rice with pumkins and beans in a bowl topped with green leaves

3 responses to “Haricot beans and pumpkin

  1. Don’t let elizabeth mislead you when she says ‘gunge’! I have a particular flavour i associate with gunge and it’s distinctly… grungy!! Bit like the stuff that used to be smeared all over the walls in Ghostbusters!

    Her ‘gunge’, despite what she says, manages to maintain texture and have flavour… that makes me want to keep eating…(and not even slightly think about calling out the Ghostbusters!)


  2. Pingback: Kamut tagliatelle, salmon and scallops « Real Food Lover

  3. Pingback: The drama of chili « Real Food Lover

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