Last night I cooked rice and beans, though I didn’t realize it until after the fact. And neither did The Professor.
I’d decided to try a recipe from one of the cookbooks I’d borrowed from my mother. The cookbook was Risotto: More than 100 Dishes for the Classic Rice Dish of Northern Italy,by Judith Barrett and Norma Wasserman. The recipe I’d picked out was called “Risotto con Fagioli,” and when asked what was for dinner, I told The Professor that I was cooking a bean risotto.
“It’s an experiment,” I added, as I saw his brow begin to rise.
“So I see,” he replied.
Though it was only an experiment in that I’d never tried the dish before. And somehow the idea of “bean risotto” sounded novel. But it wasn’t really. The dish could just as well have been called “Beans and Rice, Italian-style.”
The recipe called for a “soffritto” (Italian for the things you saute that will add flavor to the rice) of onion and tomato. I skipped the tomato and used onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. I also added a whole can of cannellini beans, roughly double what the recipe called for.
The result? See for yourself.
“It had more flavor than I expected,” The Professor admitted. He suggested increasing the amount of onion next time, and adding something crisp — perhaps slices of zucchini, tossed in at the last minute — to play against the soft texture of the beans and rice. But all in all, he was satisfied. Since he doesn’t grade first-time dishes, I’ll have to wait until next time to find out whether it was satisfying enough to earn an A.