I’ve always looked up to my aunt Liz. A world-traveling, multilingual, distance running biological science grant approver with a PhD, she’s been reliably exciting and in-the-know my entire life (and hers, too). Being around her has always been an exhilarating treat; you should have seen the fervor caused when my two sisters and I would rip open boxloads of Liz’s hair products, makeup, jewelry, headbands, etc. that she was through with or passing on before an overseas move. Watching us divvy those half-used cans of designer mousse was like watching sweaty, sobbing pre-teen fans claw over each other to grab a tossed scrunchie at a Britney Spears concert. Big, Big News.
As you can imagine, this sense of excitement has only slightly dissipated, mostly because I’ve caught on to the whole “acting calm in public” thing (work in progress). When Liz gave me a copy of Heidi Swanson’s James Beard award-winning “Super Natural Every Day,” I had to work really hard to not squeal and yell MINE as soon as she handed it over. Super Natural is a lovely book by a lovely chef, filled with lovely photos and very helpful tips. In addition to the creative, delicious recipes, the pantry chapter is my favorite- Heidi really breaks down how to properly stock a modern kitchen. The cover recipe looked so glorious, I had to try it first. Cooked cabbage is a win in any dish for me, and this recipe was no exception. Have you tried Heidi’s recipes? What did you think?
WHITE BEANS AND CABBAGE
Adapted from Super Natural Every Day, by Heidi Swanson
- 1 bag shredded green cabbage, about 3 cups
- 2-3 small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1/4″ dice
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt
- Parmesan cheese, optional
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Take the time to let your OCD freak flag fly and really dice your potatoes into a small, uniform dice. Doing so will not only enhance the beauty of this dish and ensure even cooking of the potatoes, but will provide you with more crispy, cooked potato surface area, and who doesn’t want that?
So. Do that, then toss the potatoes and a healthy pinch of kosher salt with the hot oil. Cover the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes, scraping the pan occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked through. Add the shallots and the beans.
Allow the beans to cook in a single layer for a minute or two, until they’re slightly browned. Scrape the pan again, cook until the beans are browned all over and a bit crispy, then add the remaining tablespoon olive oil and the cabbage. The cabbage will wilt as you stir; once it has broken down a bit, you’re ready to taste for seasoning and serve. Enjoy!