Scarlet Runner Beans with Chorizo and Quinoa

These beans have a deep, velvety flavor, and when combined with a grain,  are a great one-pot meal.

Without the chorizo, this could be an entirely vegetarian dish, but the chorizo adds that smokey hint of paprika that I love.  In addition, I’ve added a handful of chopped, cooked kale for brightness and color.  The salted cooking water from the kale serves as the broth for the stew–it’s the perfect vegetable stock.

After an overnight soaking and draining of the beans, I begin by sauteing aromatics–carrots, celery, onion and shallot, along with a bay leaf, thyme and rosemary sprigs.  I then add some of the broth and all of the beans.

These beans will take the better part of 2 1/2 hours to simmer to the point of being velvety inside, while still maintaining a slight bite outside.  During the last 20 minutes of cooking, I add a cup of quinoa and continue cooking.  The kale gets added about 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve the stew.

I call this a stew, but it can just as easily be thinned to more of  a soup consistency, by the addition of more liquid.  Either way, you’ll find it the perfect dish for a slightly chilly fall afternoon or evening.

Scarlet Runner Beans with Chorizo and Quinoa

13 oz. Scarlet Runner beans, soaked in water overnight, then drained

6 small shallots

2 stalks celery

2 carrots, peeled

2 tbls olive oil

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1 bay leaf

2 pieces cured chorizo sausage, sliced lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/2″ half-moons

1 c quinoa

1 piece of parmigiano rind approximately 2″ x 2″

1 bunch kale, stripped off stems, sliced into 1/2″ ribbons, and blanched in plenty of generously salted water for about 5 minutes.  Retain water and set aside for use as  vegetable stock.

Chop all aromatic vegetables to a fairly uniform 1/2″ dice.

In a dutch oven, place all aromatics and oil and bring to a sizzle on low heat.

Saute for about 10 minutes, until onions and carrots begin to soften and color.  Add chorizo and continue sauteing until the chorizo begins to caramelize.

Add beans, along with enough broth to cover by an inch.  Also add the parmigiano rind.

Keep extra broth to add later, as water evaporates.

Simmer, partially covered on lowest heat for approximately 2 hours, stirring, tasting and adding broth from time-to-time.

When beans are pleasingly soft inside, add quinoa and continue simmering for another 20 minutes, until quinoa has softened and cooked through.

Add half of the kale (save the rest for a later use–it freezes perfectly) and bring to heat.

Taste for salt, and add broth to reach the desired consistency.

Serve with a drizzle of raw extra-virgin olive oil (and lots of grated pecorino or parmigiano).

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