Thursday, November 8, 2012

Simmered Cannellini Beans with Rice, Vegetables

We all know side dishes get monotonous so sometimes you have to think outside the box - or at least, read this blog and let me do it for you. A few months ago I had a side at a restaurant that stuck in my head because it was not only tasty, but different. It involved cannelloni beans (a.k.a. great northern beans) and some carrots, but beyond that I can't tell you what specifically was in it. Nevertheless, I decided to create something similar here at home and this is what I wound up with!

 First things first, you need to get the rice started. I recommend short grain brown rice. Put two cups of chicken broth in a large saucepan and bring it to boil, then add in a cup of rice and and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes while continuing to check on it. When the liquid gets low, add a little water and then stir, stir, stir for another 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large, flat stainless steel pan, heat olive oil and then toss in two cloves of minced garlic. Dice 1/2 cup of carrots, 1/2 cup of celery and 1/4 cup onion. Add these to the pan once the garlic has started to brown and then cook over medium heat for another 5-10 minutes before adding in a can of drained cannelloni/great northern beans. Continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes but reduce the heat and add a pinch of salt, a little freshly ground {white} peppercorns and some chopped parsley.

Finally, you want to take the softened rice and stir it into the skillet with everything else. Continue to simmer for about five more minutes over low heat, stirring to ensure that the flavors blend.

Served as a refreshingly crisp yet tame side with spicy dry-rubbed buffalo chicken breasts.

- Melissa

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