Califonia Bountiful
Side Dish

Broccoli and beans

Here's a recipe fresh from the Clif Family Bruschetteria Food Truck: stewed heirloom beans with crunchy broccoli and cauliflower, radish and Meyer lemon vinaigrette. Mmm! Thanks to chef John McConnell for sharing!

Chef John McConnell 
Clif Family Bruschetteria Food Truck, St. Helena

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8 oz. heirloom beans
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup small-diced onion
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. kosher or fine sea salt (plus more to taste)

Broccoli and cauliflower
1 head or larger floret of broccoli (similar in size to the cauliflower)
1 head of cauliflower

Meyer lemon vinaigrette
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice (optional: zest added)
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. sea salt or kosher salt

5 to 6 smaller red Easter egg radishes


For beans: Soak beans in 2 quarts cold water overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, in a room-temperature pot, add olive oil, garlic and chili flakes and cook over medium-high heat until garlic is lightly golden brown. Add onions and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until softened. Add cumin and oregano and sauté for 20 to 30 seconds before adding soaked and strained beans. Add enough water to cover the beans twice as high as the level of beans in the pan. Bring water to a boil. Skim surface of any froth that forms and continue to repeat until there is no more froth. Cover pot and cook beans at a simmer for 45 to 60 minutes or until beans are creamy and tender, not crunchy. Check for doneness. If the beans are not cooked thoroughly, continue to cook them for as long as they need. The fresher the shelling beans, the less time they will take to cook. If some beans have split during the cooking process, that is preferred as they will help thicken the broth to make a creamy stew. Once beans are cooked, add salt and season to your preference.

For broccoli and cauliflower: Prepare a pot of salted water and bring to a boil to blanch vegetables. While the pot is coming to a boil, prepare an ice bath (ice and water). Cut and trim broccoli and florets of cauliflower. Once water is boiling, carefully lower vegetables and cook until barely softened on the outside, but crunchy in the center. Shock immediately in the ice bath until cooled. Remove from water and allow to drain.

For vinaigrette: Whisk all ingredients in a bowl or transfer to a dressing bottle. To apply, quickly cover and shake to temporarily emulsify.

For radishes: Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, carefully slice discs of radish about 1/16-inch thick. Keep moistened until ready to use.

To serve: In a small pot, gently warm stewed beans and hold warm. In a small mixing bowl, place well-drained broccoli and cauliflower, dress to taste with vinaigrette and adjust seasoning with salt to your preference. On a salad plate, spoon about 1 cup warm beans in the middle of the plate. The beans will spread out naturally. Place chilled broccoli and cauliflower over beans to form an even layer. Top with a veil of sliced radishes. Place radishes in a shingled fashion to create an even layer over the vegetables. Drizzle a little vinaigrette over the radishes and around the perimeter of the beans.

Serves 4 to 6

Photo: © 2021 Lori Eanes

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