I found these beautiful flageolet beans at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City last Saturday. Since they are typically available for a couple weeks at most, you have to act fast. I gathered a mix of seasonal vegetables to use as a soffrito, and added some tomato compote.
Cooking the beans in a pressure cooker gives outstanding results. The beans become very tender without getting mushy, while the soffrito almost melts. The tomato compote recipe is adapted from Heston Blumenthal: In Search Of Perfection, a book that I highly recommend. I also got the idea for the pressure cooker from Blumenthal.
Yields about 1 lb
2 1/4 lb very ripe heirloom tomatoes
1 tsp salt
3 oz extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz onion, small dice
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground star anise
1/2 tsp ground allspice
4 drops Tabasco sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp red wine
8 thyme sprigs, stems removed
- Separate the cores, skins and seeds from the flesh of the tomatoes. Chop them, mix with the salt and transfer to a chinois placed over a bowl. Leave for 30 minutes and reserve the juice. Coarsely chop the tomato flesh and reserve.
- Heat the olive oil in a pot. Sweat the garlic and onion over medium heat until soft, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the coriander, star anise and allspice. Add the Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tomato ketchup, red wine, and thyme sprigs together with the juice from the tomatoes and tomato flesh. Cook for 2 hours over low heat, so that the compote is lightly bubbling.
- Turn the heat to high and cook the compote for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Transfer to plastic containers and refrigerate. Remove the excess oil at the top when cold.
Yields 6 servings
10 oz flageolets
3 oz butter
4 oz peeled celery root, brunoised
4 oz peeled carrot, brunoised
4 oz zucchini, brunoised
4 oz tomato compote
ground black pepper
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
- Soak the flageolet beans in cold water for about 2 hours.
- Melt the butter in the pressure cooker over medium heat, add the celery root, carrot, and zucchini, and cook until soft. Add the tomato compote and the beans and season with salt and pepper. Close the pressure cooker, heat until the pressure builds up, and cook for 20 minutes.
- Let rest for 5 minutes, then release the pressure. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.