Throughout the year 2000, my family ate our way through dozens and dozens of cans of beans. We had received them from my mom’s father—he was convinced computers would malfunction in the transition to the new millennium, sparking riots and food shortages. Canned beans were a cheap, long-lasting provision to help us ride out the storm.
“What might seem like a cop-out to dried bean devotees, members of Artichoke-Turners Anonymous, and captains of the health patrol is actually a damn good dish that comes together in minutes and requires zero time at the stove,” Kass says. “It’s also an important reminder that while fresh vegetables are best, eating vegetables of any kind is important.”
To lighten up the canned goods, Kass adds celery, feta, and a generous squeeze of lemon—emphasis on the lemon. Kass recommends squeezing even more than you think you’ll need.
The recipe feeds a crowd: Kass serves it as a last-minute meal when friends pop by. Or, if you’re meal-prep-inclined, it’d make a great low-cost lunch. For me, I can’t help but think it would’ve been a welcome way to use up the fruits, er, beans, of my grandfather’s Y2K paranoia.
- One 14- to 15-ounce can low-sodium white beans or black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- One 14-ounce jar artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- One 14-ounce can hearts of palm, drained and cut into about ½-inch slices
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 4 celery stalks, peeled and cut into about ½-inch pieces, plus some coarsely chopped celery leaves
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 or 2 lemons, halved
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Did anyone else stockpile right before 2000? What else should we have used those beans for?