Back to Basics

Often times it seems I find myself in a routine spending night after night enjoying happy hours and late-night dining out in restaurants. Though fun and an absolute must-do activity in the city I currently call home (Portland, OR), the non-stop ingesting of delectable cocktails and highly praised happy hour food around town can wreak havoc on the body.

I remember just a couple of weeks ago it seemed that my body literally said, "Stop! Fresh fruit? Fresh vegetables? Feed them to me." So I decided to listen, and for the past few weeks have been working my way back to basics; eating fresh fruit, vegetables and lean proteins. It's a nice change and one that always reminds me of how good just the basics can be. And (yes, I know this may sound a bit nerdy) it can actually be fun tasting, say, broccoli that's drowning in cheese sauce and an avocado without the salty, high-fat tortilla chips to dip with.

Tonight I was craving something light and simple for dinner. In my cupboard I remembered I had a stash of some dried white beans (Il Fagiolo di Controne) from the Controne region of Italy. They are produced by Michele Ferrante and imported into the U.S. via RITROVO SELECTIONS (full disclosure: RITROVO is a company that I've done public relations work for). These beans are unique in that they only require a 2-2.5 hour cooking time. Usually dried beans call for an hour of soaking prior to cooking. A friend of mine, Catie, who also works for the company, insisted I give them a try and promised, just as the packaging said, about 2.5 hours cooking time and I'd be good to go.

She was right, and they were great. I simply opened the air-tight package of beans, added them to a pot and covered them with cool water. I brought them to a boil and then turned the heat down to low and let them sit for 2.5 hours, without disturbing them even once.

Controne beans waiting to be cooked

Viola! Just 2.5 hours later

I decided to finish them off with a little extra virgin olive oil, a few slices of avocado, some Parmesan shavings and a sprinkle of sea salt. Delish. They were a perfect end to a Sunday evening.

Simple pleasures

How basic can you get?


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