Author Notes: A couple of days ago I spotted the most gorgeous gigantic purple-black beans at the local market and bought them on the spot (picture attached if you are curious). I googled frantically -- alas the seller did not know the name -- and identified them to be of the Large Black Speckled Kidney Beans variety. I resisted the temptation to keep them in a jar, as Maedl wisely suggested, and, being the kidney beans, envisioned my purchase in a smoky salad or stew with sundried tomatoes, pimenton de la vera and olive oil. That is, until I cooked them. Once cooked, my beans tasted like chestnuts, oh they were even yummier than chestnuts, but the new flavor required a new dish. The sundried tomatoes ended up in a fridge as a smoky pesto (more on that to come), while we ended up with a new favorite dish! Needless to say, you can always substitute my fake chestnuts with the real ones. - QueenSashy
- 1 pound cooked and drained Large Black Speckled Kidney beans (or equal amount of cooked and peeled chestnuts)
- 3 ounces dried oyster mushrooms
- 2-3 carrots (about 4oz), coarsely shredded
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons sunflower oil (or any other cooking oil)
- 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms soften for about 10min. Drain the mushrooms and chop them into small pieces. Reserve the liquid.
- In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for about two minutes. Add the carrots and continue to cook for another five minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the beans and add the rest to the pan. Add the rosemary and the reserved mushroom liquid, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
- Using a fork, smash the reserved beans until smooth, and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and continue to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the liquid has thickened and the beans are covered with a thick sauce. Poor the heavy cream into the pan and simmer for another minute or two, and you are done.
- Serve as a side to roasted meats or grilled lamb and pork chops (although I savored the dish on its own, with a slice of country bread and a glass of Chardonnay).