Olive Oil & Cafe Levain
I was honored to throw a small amount of time toward the beautiful #BigEVOONight event that Minnesota Food Blogger Will Hsu planned with Chef Adam Vickerman and Mike Forbes of California Olive Ranch. Held last Wednesday, July 6, at Cafe Levain, the event featured a gorgeous, seasonal menu planned around California Olive Ranch’s incredible extra-virgin olive oil.
The food was stunning and delicious – good combination. I particularly loved the kohlrabi/pea puree soup and can’t wait to mess around with the concept.
The eaters were primarily food bloggers doing their food blogger thing: snapping pics, tweeting, oohing and ahhing over the fabulous food, talking a blue streak, laughing their brains out…
…and licking their plates. Yeah!
Minnesota Food Bloggers are a fun group, yes we are. Even the ones (Shaina Olmanson) who insist on putting their nametags on my butt. It started with one at The Local. I found five at the end of this event. Apparently I don’t notice people patting my backside. Hmmm…
At home I used my California Olive Ranch extra-virgin olive oil to finish off these gorgeous soisson beans. I first had them at the home of Deborah & Scott Pikovsky, after spending the day at Star Thrower Farm, their sheep farm and cheese-making venture outside of Glencoe, Minnesota. Scott made us an incredible meal – details of the day and meal forthcoming – including soisson beans. Creamy and rich, they need nothing more than a drizzle of lovely olive oil, and a sprinkle of coarse salt, to finish. Sublime.
Thank you Mike Forbes/California Olive Ranch and Adam Vickerman/Cafe Levain for such a perfectly delicious summer evening!
Soisson Beans with Rosemary, Arugula & Olive Oil
Soisson beans are large, white lima beans. Substitute these Bob’s Red Mill large lima beans for the same buttery, creamy texture. Or, use any dried white bean! Soak the beans at room temperature for 12-24 hours ahead of time and your digestive system will thank you.
8 Tbsp. fruity extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small sprig rosemary
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 c. diced onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 lb. large, dried white kidney beans, soaked for 12 hours, soaking water discarded
4 large handfuls of small arugula leaves
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
Set a Dutch oven over medium heat and add 4 Tbsp. of olive oil. Stir in the rosemary and stir around for a few minutes, then add the cayenne pepper, onion, garlic, and thyme. Saute for 10 minutes, or until the onion is nicely softened. Stir in the drained beans to coat them with oil. Add water to cover by 2 inches, bring to a simmer, and turn heat to low.
Simmer the beans over lowest heat, uncovered, for 30 minutes, then add 3 tsp. of Kosher salt. Continue simmering for another 30 minutes to 1 hour or until beans are tender but not falling apart. Add more water if necessary so that beans don’t dry out but juices remain thickened and starchy. When the beans are done, remove from heat and set aside.
Set a skillet over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Stir in the arugula and a generous pinch of salt and saute until arugula wilts, about 3 minutes. Scrape arugula into the bean pot.
To serve, spoon beans and arugula into small bowls, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and finish with freshly ground black pepper.