Cannellini Beans With Garlic, Parmesan, and Artichokes

I’m constantly looking for more bean and lentil dishes that are quick and delicious. Beans are filling and full of protein, which make them very important for vegetarians, or for people like Joe and me who only eat meat occasionally. I particularly like this recipe for taking about 15 minutes altogether. Deb Perelman says she came up with this recipe by treating beans the way you would pasta – using garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes and topping it all with parmesan. I also love the idea of replacing more pasta recipes with beans since eating pasta too often tends to leave me sleepy and sluggish. I modified this recipe by using dried parsley (because every time I buy fresh herbs, I only use a small amount and the rest goes bad,) and by doubling the amount of artichokes. Honestly doubling the artichokes was an accident, but one that I felt improved the dish, so I will be making it this way from now on. I had no problem throwing this recipe together from items in my pantry for a delicious dinner after work.

Cannellini Beans with Garlic, Parmesan, and Artichokes – adapted from Smitten Kitchen

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Red pepper flakes
1 (15-ounce) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Grated parmesan or pecorino romano

Heat oil, garlic, and a generous shake of pepper flakes over medium-low heat in a medium skillet. Let cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until garlic is just barely golden at the edges. Add drained cannelini beans and stir to combine.  Cook beans in garlic oil for 3 to 4 minutes, adding a tablespoon of water if it looks dry. Stir in artichoke hearts and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, just to warm. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and/or pepper, if needed. Stir in parsley. Eat as-is, ladled over firm slices of toast, and finished with parmesan cheese.

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