In the heart of the Mediterranean culinary tapestry, Italian cuisine boasts a treasure trove of flavors that celebrate simplicity and quality ingredients. Among the many dishes that exemplify this ethos, Cannellini Beans with Rosemary and Balsamic Onions stand as a quintessential example of rustic Italian comfort food. This humble yet flavorful creation encapsulates the essence of Italian cooking, where just a handful of key components transform into a dish that dances on the palate and warms the soul.
At its core, this dish combines the earthy creaminess of cannellini beans, the fragrant elegance of fresh rosemary, and the sweet tang of balsamic onions. It’s a symphony of flavors that captures the rustic charm of the Italian countryside and celebrates the art of simplicity. This recipe is a testament to the philosophy of Italian cuisine, emphasizing the importance of fresh, high-quality ingredients and the harmony they bring to the table.
Cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans, form the heart of this dish. Their tender, melt-in-the-mouth texture makes them an ideal canvas for absorbing the flavors of the accompanying ingredients. Rosemary, an herb revered in Italian cooking, infuses the dish with its aromatic warmth, while balsamic onions add a hint of sweet and tangy complexity. It’s a dish that marries the familiarity of beans with the sophistication of herbs and onions, and each bite is a tribute to the enduring appeal of uncomplicated, wholesome flavors.
This culinary journey invites you to discover the art of preparing Cannellini Beans with Rosemary and Balsamic Onions. We will explore the steps to create this timeless Italian classic in your own kitchen, so you can savor the authentic taste of Italy. Whether as a hearty side dish, a main course, or a cozy accompaniment to a crusty loaf of bread, this recipe brings the charm of rustic Italian cuisine to your table. So, let’s dive into this delightful creation and celebrate the comforting and delicious traditions of Italy.
For the Cannellini Beans:
– 2-3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) of olive oil, divided
– 1 small finely diced onion
– 4 cloves of finely diced garlic
– 3 cans (400 g / 14 oz each) of cannellini beans
– 1 cup (240 ml) of soy or other plant-based milk
– 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (optional)
– Salt and black pepper, to taste
– ½ cup of store-bought onion chutney
– 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of quality balsamic vinegar
– 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of maple syrup
– 4 vegan sausages (optional)
For the Rosemary Oil:
– 1/3 cup (80 ml) of extra virgin olive oil
– 0.3 oz (8 g) of rosemary leaves (from 4 sprigs)
**For the Cannellini Beans:**
1. In a large frying pan, heat up two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the finely diced onion and sauté for 5-10 minutes. Later, add the finely diced garlic. Sauté on low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are softened and fragrant but not browned.
2. Season the mixture with salt and black pepper, and then add the drained cannellini beans. You can squash a portion of the beans with a fork to achieve a creamier texture. Pour in the soy or other plant-based milk and nutritional yeast (if using). Season again.
3. Simmer the mixture on low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until it becomes creamy and thickened.
4. While the beans are simmering, heat one teaspoon of olive oil in a heavy skillet. Slice the vegan sausages on the diagonal into 1.25 cm (½-inch) pieces and pan-fry them until they are lightly charred on all sides.
5. Once the sausages are done, remove them from the pan. Add the onion chutney, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup to the pan. Season and simmer for a few minutes until the mixture thickens and caramelizes.
6. Divide the hot, creamy beans between bowls. Top them with the fried sausages, a spoonful of the onion chutney sauce, and a drizzle of rosemary oil. This dish pairs perfectly with a slice of crusty bread.
**For the Rosemary Oil:**
1. Pick the rosemary leaves, remove the hard ends, and finely chop the leaves using a herb cutter, sharp knife, or a mini food chopper.
2. Heat up the extra virgin olive oil in a small pot until the oil has small ripples on the surface. Remove it from the heat and add all the chopped rosemary in. The rosemary should sizzle as it hits the oil but should not turn brown (test with a couple of pieces of rosemary first to be sure).
3. Transfer the rosemary-infused oil to a small jar and keep it on the kitchen counter. You can use it to enhance the flavors of cooked beans, soups, pasta, hummus, and more. Enjoy!