Last night, I happily served as Ferry Dinner Cook to fill in for my housemate Rocky, who found herself stuck in the Atlanta airport after journeying to Alabama for a weekend wedding. I normally choose what to cook for Ferry Dinner based upon the veggies that are in greatest abundance in our kitchen, and/or upon the veggies that no Ferry member seems particularly enthusiastic about eating on their own—last night’s dinner decision process proved no different.
With an influx of leafy greens and heirloom tomatoes, as well as a large pile of acorn and carnival squashes that no one had touched since last week, my housemate Andrew and I whipped up two hearty, comforting, and complexly flavored dishes for the Ferry team.
The first dish—curried coconut quinoa with dried apricots and almonds stuffed inside baked squash halves—drew inspiration from this recipe on Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes. Succulent, fragrant, well spiced, and multi-textured, the stuffed squash provided a quintessential autumn dish. However, acorn and carnival squashes always taste rather bland to me, and indeed did last night, as well. I’ll stick to my butternuts and kabochas from now on.
The second dish, however—a stew of heirloom tomatoes roasted with rosemary and marjoram, home-simmered black beans, and garlicky sautéed greens—offered a multiplicity of flavor to counter the blah-ness of the squashes. I tend to become a bit verklempt over the unparalleled beauty of heirloom tomatoes (especially those pictured below which harbor a rainbow of hues), so this dish verily excited me. Paired with tender greens and creamy black beans, the roasted heirlooms constituted a winning dish, the recipe for which I’ve provided below.
Garlicky Black Beans, Kale, and Herb-Roasted Tomatoes
1 1/2 cups dried black beans
2 bay leaves
4 large heirloom tomatoes, halved then cut into thirds
1/4 cup fresh rosemary
Generous sprinkling of dried marjoram
Drizzle of olive oil, plus oil for sauteeing
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb mixed leafy greens
Soak the black beans in enough water to cover for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the beans, then place in a pot with the bay leaves, cover with fresh water, set over high heat, bring to a boil, then simmer for 60-90 minutes. Drain the beans and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Meanwhile, place the heirloom tomatoes, rosemary, and marjoram in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until very tender. Set aside.
Heat the rest of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic for 1-2 minutes, then add the greens and cook for 5-10 minutes or until tender.
In a large pot, combine the beans, tomatoes, and greens. Serve.
Until next time, Ali.