Braised Lamb Shanks over Tuscan White Beans with Gremolata

Braised Lamb Shanks over Tuscan White Beans with Gremolata015 (3)

Tuscan White Beans

1 lb. dried white beans,rinsed and picked over

6 cups water

1 fresh rosemary sprig

salt and pepper , to taste

Place the beans in a bowl of water and let soak over night. Drain soaked beans and add to a slow cooker. Pour in the water and toss in the rosemary sprig. Place slow cooker on low and cook for about 8 hours or until beans are tender. Salt and pepper, to taste. Drain and set drained beans aside.

Braised Lamb Shanks

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, peeled and cut into large dice

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1- 3-inch rosemary sprig

4 lamb shanks

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup beef broth

1 cup dry red wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

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Pat dry the lamb shanks and trim where needed. Salt and pepper the shanks. In a large saute pan, add a small amount of olive oil. Heat the pan on high and sear all sides of the lamb shanks. Remove to platter and set aside.

Scatter the vegetables, chopped garlic, and rosemary in the bottom of a large slow cooker. Arrange the shanks on top of the vegetables.

Stir together the broth,red wine, and tomato paste. Pour over the top of the shanks. Cover  and cook on low for about 8 hours or until meat is tender and coming away from the bone.

Remove the shanks to a platter and cover.

Skim the fat from the surface of the liquid in the slow cooker. Turn the heat to high and stir in the drained beans. Heat until beans are heated through.

Gremolata

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 cloves garlic , minced

zest from 1 lemon.

Chop together the parsley and garlic. Stir in the zest. Stir in half the mixture into the bean mixture.

Place bean mixture on top of shanks and sprinkle the remaining gremolata over the top of the shanks and beans.

White Bean and Chicken Soup

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1 lb. dry white beans, soaked overnight

2 onions, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. Herbs de Provence

1 bay leaf

1 quart chicken stock

1 carrot, peeled and diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 cups fresh baby spinach

1 1/2 lbs. cooked , boneless chicken breast, shredded

salt and pepper, to taste

In a large stock pot add drained soaked beans, onions, garlic, 1 tsp Herbs de Provence and the bay leaf. Pour just enough water to cover. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer, adding more water as needed. When beans are almost finished add the chicken stock, diced carrots and celery and the remaining 1 tsp Herbs de Provence. Cook beans, celery and carrots until tender. Stir in the shredded chicken and the baby spinach. Salt and pepper, to taste.

White Bean and Garbanzo Falafel with Naan and Raita

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Falafel:

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

6 tablespoons flour, plus additional for dusting

1 tsp. baking powder

Raita:

2 cups Greek yogurt

1/4 cup fresh mint , chopped

2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 English cucumber, peeled and diced

Falafel:

In a bowl of a food processor, combine all the ingredients and pulse until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes. Remove and place in a covered container. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Heat 1 1/2 inch of vegetable oil to 350 degrees.  While oil is heating up prepare the falafel. Make about 48 1 inch balls with dough. Dough will be sticky. Roll balls lightly in flour. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Raita:

Combine all the ingredients and store in covered container in the refrigerator.

To serve, spoon a nice spoonful of raita onto a piece of warmed naan bread or pita; place 4-5 falafel on top . Eat like a taco.

White Bean-Pancetta Soup

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1 tablespoon olive oil

6 oz. pancetta, diced

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 cups dry white beans , soaked overnight

6 cups chicken stock

2 heads roasted garlic

1/4 cup basil pesto

salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil. Add pancetta and cook until crisp and brown. Add onion and garlic and saute until fragrant. Add white wine and reduce by half. Add beans and chicken stock; simmer until beans are tender.

Chop the roasted garlic cloves and add to soup, along with the pesto; mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer 5-10 more minutes to allow flavors to marry. Serve hot with grated Parmesan on top.