The Market Report

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Laura Avery talks with Amelia Saltsman, author of The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook, who shares these tasty ideas for white cannellini beans and beets.

Tangy White Beans (Makes 8 servings)
6 cups drained, cooked fresh cannellini beans, see below ***
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
Kosher or sea salt

In a serving bowl, stir together the beans, garlic, parsley, oil, and vinegar. Season to taste with salt. Make at least one hour ahead (or up to 1 day ahead) and refrigerate, then bring to room temperature. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and vinegar before serving.

***How To Cook Fresh Shell Beans. Shell the beans and place in a pot with water to cover. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat, cover partially and simmer until beans are tender but still hold their shape, 30 to 40 minutes. Add salt to taste, turn off the heat, cover the pot and let the beans cool. Refrigerate the beans in their liquid. Drain before using and reserve the liquid for enriching soups and stews. Fresh beans do not expand much in cooking. Plan on about 1 cup cooked beans from 1/2 pound beans in the pod.

Pomegranate and Orange-Glazed Beets (Makes 6 servings)
24 small beets, 1 to 2 inches in diameter, or 3 lbs larger beets, quartered
1-2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup pomegranate juice
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2-3 Tablespoons chopped toasted pistachios, optional

Preheat oven to 400°. If you haven't already, cut off the beet greens, leaving 1 inch of stem attached to beets, and reserve for another use. In a large baking dish, toss the beets with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover pan and roast beets until almost tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes, shaking the pan once during cooking time. Uncover, shake the beets again and roast uncovered until tender, about 15 minutes more. When cool, peel the beets using a paring knife (skins should come off easily). The beets may be prepared one day ahead and refrigerated. Return them to room temperature to finish the dish.

Pour orange and pomegranate juices into a large skillet set over medium-high heat and cook until juices are reduced by half and slightly syrupy, about 10 minutes. Add beets and a little salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook the beets, frequently spooning the juices over them, until the juices become a very thick syrup, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the tablespoon of butter, reduce the heat as needed to keep the glaze from browning, and stir constantly 1 to 2 minutes until the beets are richly coated and the juices are a thick glaze. Add salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with the pistachios.

Adapted from Saltsman's The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook

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