Have you ever eaten butter beans? I hadn't. I knew I'd seen them in stores, yet I still had some difficulty finding them and spent a little time pondering what would be an acceptable substitute if I couldn't find them. Never fear, though! The Bastion of Beans (Goya) would never let me down, so I did leave Superfresh with two cans of butter beans.
In case the "intro" didn't give it away, we had the Parsley, Butter Bean, and Cherry Tomato Stew from The Low GI Cookbook for dinner tonight.
I don't know why this surprised me, since the cookbook does actually have some very attractive pictures of almost every recipe, but butter beans are friggin' huge! They were bigger than the half-moon slices of Tofurky sausage I added for substance! They were bigger than the halved grape tomatoes (which were actually quite large for grape tomatoes)! Texturally, they were kind of like really big cannellini beans - definitely a creamy center. A person might even say they were "buttery," which is how I imagine they got their name.
"Hey - HEY!"
"Have you eaten these beans?"
"I'm going to call them butter beans."
That's the naming conversation. It's acted out in my head by two cavemen who greatly resemble the characters in B.C., except hairier.
Anyway, all said, it was a pretty good stew, which I served over surprisingly fragrant brown basmati rice. This actually happened - I was standing at my counter, chopping veggies, when an enticing scent invaded my nostrils. I looked all over for the source of this scent before realizing it was the rice. True story.
Although I found the size of the butter beans a bit disturbing initially, they really did help with the intense flavor from the sausage. Without the added sausage, though, I'm not sure this would have been quite as happy a dish. It smelled very strongly of the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon I added in and I feel like the taste would have been overwhelming if completed by the 1/2 tsp of sugar I forgot to add and did not include the savory notes contributed by the sausage.
It's a very attractive dinner and it smelled fabulous while cooking, but I can't say I'll rush to put this on the table again.