Summery Garlicky Beans

Summery Garlicky Beans


As blogged last week, this past Friday I set up my kitchen/stage at 5C Café in Manhattan. I  want to thank Michael Bisio who delighted us on bass, Pierre Joris, Yuko Otomo & Steve Dalashinky who read fun & beautiful food & Paris poems, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte who took  the photographs and helped set up/clean up, Adrien Aquilina for his  assistance on waiting tables, as well as Bruce,  Trudy  & the volunteers at 5C  for their graceful hospitality & for giving me the opportunity to cook and sing. Many thanks also to a sophisticated, warm & engaging audience. Please feel free to post comments about the evening if you were there. If you were not there: the menu, the recipe of the main course, & Miles’ photographs are below.
But first let me tell you about my next performance coming up this Thursday with Peter Knoll on electric guitar. No food this time, but singing 3 French songs. I am really excited to be part of the Mongrel Vaudeville, and looking forward to the various & extravagant performances.
Mongrel Vaudeville
“Blue Moon in June”
What: Performance
Host: Julian of Nowherr
Start Time: Thursday, June 25 at 8:00pm
End Time: Thursday, June 25 at 10:00pm
Where: thru the swingin doors at Freddy’s Bar & Backroom
485 Dean Street Brooklyn, NY 11215
That’s the corner of Dean Street and 6th Avenue in Brooklyn.

Now Friday’s menu:

Sardine Paté w/ pink peppercorns (see Sardine Tartine blog ; all I added were the pink peppercorns)
Syrian Cheese served with green spicy Turkish and black Moroccan lemon olives

Main Course:

Summery Garlicky Beans & Kale
(Thank you d’Artagnan for the coco Tarbais beans)


Strawberry short cake w/ live whipped cream!
(Thank you Pierre Landet for the pan and the strawberries)

Photographs by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte

Summery Garlicky Beans & Kale Recipe

I don’t have exact proportions, and it is really up to you to make it the way you like. Though as a rough indication here are the ingredients and the proportional ratio.
Soak beans over night:  2/3 white (coco tarbais)   for 1/3 red beans (dark red pinto beans).
Cook your beans separately and reserve.
—in duck fat, or olive oil— enough diced onions  to cover the bottom of the skillet in which you will cook your dish.
Add a few ribs of diced celery and diced red pepper. Sauté for a few minutes.
Add the purple kale, about half the pot, sauté until wilted.
Add the green garlic cloves. Make sure you buy them with the green stalk attached. Use about 1/2 a head per person. Green fresh garlic is very mild, do not be afraid.

Add about 1 to 2 garlic scapes per person (see last blog for info on scapes). Make sure they are very tender, if not peel them and cut them like green beans.
Salt & freshly ground pepper.
Add stock or water to just cover your vegetables & legumes.
Cook for about 40/60 minutes depending how big your pot.
Just before serving add one tablespoon of a pesto —my “pesto” had only  basil/regular garlic & olive oil, but nothing prevents you to add pignoles and cheese. I just wanted to keep it light as the appetizer had cheese and the dessert, whipped cream.
Make it soon because the garlic ain’t gone be fresh for much longer.

Merguez Mongetade

Merguez Mongetade


Where I am from in the French Pyrenees, and especially in the Comminges Region, when  people need to get together for an annual or a perennial event they throw a mongetade party.  In Occitan language mongetes means beans, so a mongetade will always involve a bean dish and an unlimited number of people. There is as many recipes as there is villages, however there is two consensus: the use of white beans –preferably coco tarbais— and couennes, that is porc rind. The meats varies from pork, duck or geese confit, lamb and/or mutton stew to pork sausages and a piece of cured ham wouldn’t hurt. Never would it be served with merguez —lamb sausage— but why not? and I can guarantee you it is delicious. I made this dish for the graduation dinner of our friend Dr. Randall Horton, I think he liked it, he had several helpings! You will notice that I skipped the pork rind, I didn’t have any available, but I will sure use them for the  famous bean dish often served at mongetades and dear to my heart & stomach: la Pistache Luchonnaise. Stay tune for that post when I go home this summer, meanwhile enjoy this one!

Soak 1 lb of Coco Tarbais over night — you can substitute for Lima beans.
2 lbs of fresh Merguez (Mediteraneen lamb sausages. I buy mine
at Aunt Halime’s Halal Meat on 3rd Avenue and Ovinton in Bay Ridge but you can get them on line at….yes! d’Artagnan! )
1 big onion, sliced thin.
1 red pepper, 1 green pepper
1 teaspoon of
piment d’Espelette (medium hot fragrant hot pepper grown in the Basque Country. Can be substitute for hot paprika.)
3 Tbsp of duck fat ( or olive oil)
Salt/Fresh ground pepper to taste

Optional for the hachi:

2 cloves Garlic
1 cup fresh Parsley
1 piece of Fatback

After soaking the beans overnight, drain the beans, change the water bring to a boil, reduce heat once it boils and simmer for about 1 hour or until beans are tender. Do not salt the water. Once the beans are cooked, drain and cool them, drizzle some olive oil on them to prevent them to dry if they are going to sit for a while.
Preheat oven 400º.
Meanwhile in a roaster type pan mix the fat, the onion, the pepper and the sausage, the chili pepper, the salt & the black pepper. Mix thoroughly and put into the oven for 20 minutes, once the vegetables and sausages are sizzling and have rendered all their juice add the beans. There should be juice from the mergez and the veggies in the roaster but make sure you add some liquid if needed; you need about 1/2 inch of liquid in the pan , it can be vegetable or chicken broth
and you can even add 1/2 cup of dry white wine, if you have none of these just add water. Mix well, lower the oven temperature to 320º, put the dish back in the oven and let simmer for 30 minutes so all the flavors can bind together.

Take out the oven and taste, if you find it too blend -which would be surprising- you can add a hachi of parsley, garlic & fatback (optional). To make a hachi blend all the ingredients to  paste in a mortar or food processor (much easier!). Garnish with a sprigs of parsley and serve with good bread and Southwestern French wine; a Corbières  or a Spanish Tempranillo would be perfect.