Cannellini Beans with Tomatoes, Bulgur, and Arugula

October 26, 2009 · 18 comments

in beans and legumes,dairy-free,healthy,italian,quick and easy,rice and grains,vegetarian

I love Google Reader, but one of its biggest problems is the ease with which I can star/favorite posts.  Since half the feeds I subscribe to (ok, maybe more like 2/3…) are food related, I wind up saving hundreds of recipes, 98% of which will never get made.

Sometimes, I just need a reminder, though.  I had favorited this recipe from Mark Bittman back in the day, but when it came up again thanks to the post on Proceed with Caution, I took it as a sign that I needed to make this, and soon.  No forgetting this time!  I love bulgur, I love cannellini beans, and I love leafy greens so I was sure to love this. And I did. This was super simple to make, tasted great, and was really comforting. It makes a great vegetarian dish, or a side to a protein, and there is a good chance you  have all the ingredients on hand (or if you don’t, just be like me, and change the recipe).

I altered the recipe quite a bit, mostly to make it easier on myself. I used canned beans and some leftover diced tomatoes I had in the fridge, crushed red pepper instead of fresh, and spinach instead of arugula since that is what I  had on hand.  When I read the recipe ingredients, and then when I saw it in the bowl, I knew that it would benefit from some cheese so I shaved a few slices of Pecorino Romano onto it.

I’m glad to scratch off a recipe from the very large to-try pile, and glad it was a hit, too!

Cannellini Beans with Tomatoes, Bulgur, and Arugula  (Spinach)

Adapted from Mark Bittman

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup diced tomatoes with juice
1/4 cup coarse bulgur
2/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 Tbsp. fresh minced rosemary
2 cups spinach
shaved parmesan or romano (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Put oil in a medium to large saucepan over medium heat.  Once hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add the beans, tomatoes, bulgur, broth, red pepper, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium-low heat until tomatoes have broken up & flavors meld, adding more broth to make it as soupy as you like.

Add the spinach and continue to cook, just until it wilts.  Adjust the seasoning if necessary, and then serve with some shaved parmesan on top of desired.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey October 26, 2009 at 1:39 pm

This looks so good! Your pictures are seriously amazing!! :)


Ivy October 26, 2009 at 2:20 pm

I do have all the ingredients and I love bulgur plus it’s a very healthy dish.


Meghan October 26, 2009 at 3:07 pm

This looks like a nice healthy dish! Your idea of the shaved Parm is excellent! I agree with you that I star WAY more things that I could ever make!


Juliana October 26, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Bulgur! I have some at home and was just wondering what to do with it…great idea…looks absolutely yummie!


susan from food blogga October 26, 2009 at 10:31 pm

I hear you on the Reader! I’m doing it right now! This is such a simple yet boldly flavored dish. I love every ingredient in it, Elly!


nina October 26, 2009 at 10:47 pm

I have so many tins of cannelini beans in my pantry, because you can make any meal just so much more healthy and filling with them. This is not a recipe I will file or bookmark….I am making this today!!!!


tobias cooks! October 27, 2009 at 3:51 am

I like dishes that cen be just a Mezze but as well a whole meal, if you wish to.


Joan Nova October 27, 2009 at 6:44 am

Like your version better than Bittman’s. It screamed cheese to me too. I’ve yet to work with bulgur. I guess it’s time.


Peter G October 27, 2009 at 7:38 am

Cannellini beans are a staple in my pantry….and the bulgur is so healthy. A very healthy dish overall, Elly.


Erin October 27, 2009 at 9:55 am

You have saved the day for me! Or at least saved my dinner! I was just thinking how I need to plan something for dinner tonight, and I really need to use up some of the stuff I have stockpiled in my pantry. What do you know… I have bulgur and beans on hand! A quick trip to HarvesTime should be easy, and this looks so good.

Also, I tend to only remember recipes I star if I make them quickly… otherwise they get lost in my reader. Making this the day I see it is a sure bet I’ll actually do it :) Thanks Elly, Bitman, and Proceed w/ caution!


Maria October 27, 2009 at 10:21 am

Beans in the pantry are a must for me too. Can’t do without them. This looks like such a hearty yet light dish all at once … and such great colors. Yummy!


Woman with a Whisk October 27, 2009 at 10:30 am

I’ve never worked with bulgar, but this looks like a great recipe to start with. Think it would work with quinoa too?


elly October 27, 2009 at 11:00 am

I definitely think it would work with quinoa and it would be great. Just add a few minutes to the cook time and you should be good.


foodietwoshoes October 27, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I have all the ingredients for this and will be making it for dinner tonight! I needed to use up the rest of the arugula in my fridge anyway.


Bellini Valli October 27, 2009 at 4:58 pm

I have been looking to introduce more beans into my diet so this would be up at the the top of the list.


Kerstin October 27, 2009 at 11:29 pm

Mmm, this looks so healthy and flavorful. I like your substitutions and the cheese you added on top!


Peter October 28, 2009 at 4:38 am

What a fine rustic dish with many textures going on here. Pligouri (bulgur) is a wonderful, ancient and healthy ingredient.


katie November 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm

This looks super delicious!! I need to get some argula to make this right away!!


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