super tuesday superfoods

Week 10, you guys! This is the longest I’ve ever kept a New Year’s Resolution, and I’m still going strong. I hope everybody had a truly super Tuesday.

This definitely isn’t the most ambitious recipe I’ve tried. On the other hand, if I weren’t stretching myself with ridiculous New Year’s challenges, this is how I would cook all the time: a bunch of beans, a handful of greens, some spices, a squeeze of lemon and a poached egg.

On the same trip when I bought the fennel seed for the tajine, I finally picked up a jar of za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend with sumac and thyme and sesame seed that I have meant to try for ages — and then a few days later I saw this recipe. Serendipity!

In the end, the result falls squarely into “qualified success.” To avoid being that person who complains in recipe comment sections that they left out the salt and substituted baking powder for baking soda and made everything gluten-free and it just didn’t taste the same, I’ll say up front that my substitutions probably were the problem: I used kale instead of swiss chard, because kale is a superfood (both by the conventional definition, and by my own, “a food sold ready-to-cook at Trader Joe’s”), and kale doesn’t wilt quite as well as chard does, so I had to add some water, so that made the beans less crisp, etc… I also threw it on a bed of brown rice because I had some already cooked that I needed to use up, but it really isn’t a soupy dish and didn’t need to be served on a bed of anything.

Still, I’ll definitely be making it again. Next time, I’ll follow the recipe.

Pan-Fried Beans and Greens

(taken wholesale from The Kitchn, because my adaptations just didn’t work)

Olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz (1 bunch) swiss chard (pretty sure spinach would also work; beware of kale)
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed (I used cannelloni)
1 lemon
1 teaspoon za’atar spice blend
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 egg 

Chop the swiss chard into ribbons and the stems into bite-sized pieces. Zest the lemon and juice it (you’ll only use half the juice in the recipe, so make yourself a lemonade or something with the rest).

In a large skillet, heat about a teaspoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook with a scant teaspoon of salt, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and uniformly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and chard stems (only the stems!) and cook, stirring, for another minute. Set the onions and chard aside in a bowl.

Add another glug of olive oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the beans and spread out into a single layer. Cook for 2 minutes without stirring; then stir and repeat. You want the beans to be fried and blistered on all sides. Stir in the chard leaves, the za’atar, and half a teaspoon of salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the chard is thoroughly wilted.

At this point, start poaching your egg in another skillet.

Add the onion mixture back into the chard, and add the lemon zest and juice from half of the lemon. Stir and taste. Season if necessary. Serve immediately.