Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Lemony White Beans with Broccoli Rabe #recipe by @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: We love side dishes made with canned beans, especially white beans or garbanzo beans, aka chickpeas. They’re not just easy and yummy. They’re also a great way to add protein to a vegetarian meal. And we love broccoli rabe or broccolini – they’re similar but not the same vegetable. So naturally, this was the perfect combination for us.

You’ve heard me say this before: I always cut the lemon juice in a recipe because it’s often too much, even for this lemon lover, and you can add but you can’t subtract. My version of the recipe lists half the lemon juice and zest of the original; if you’re not sure, start with half a tablespoon (1-1/2 teaspoons) and work your way up. 

Any kind of white bean—navy, cannellini, Great Northern—will work beautifully. Canned beans make this a quick dish to prepare. I do recommend buying low sodium if you can, and adding salt to taste if you’d like. But with the lemon juice and zest, you’ll probably find you don’t miss the salt. 

We served this with shrimp sauteed with garlic, olive oil, and Aleppo pepper, and it was terrific combo. It would go just as well with chicken, or make it into a meal salad for two by adding hard-boiled eggs, quartered and sprinkled with red pepper, smoked paprika, or sumac. 

Lemony White Beans with Broccoli Rabe

Adapted from the Williams-Sonoma blog

1 small bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed 

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 15 ounce can of white beans, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

½ to 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, to taste

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, optional 

Bring a large saute pan salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli rabe and cook just until the stems are fork-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain well. When cool enough to handle, cut into 2-inch pieces.  

In the same pan, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium. Add onion and sauté until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté just until soft, about 30 seconds. Stir in the beans and broccoli rabe. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans and broccoli rabe are warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the lemon zest and juice and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Taste and adjust the lemon juice; add salt and pepper if you’d like. Serve immediately. 

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish. 

From the cover of BITTERROOT LAKE, written as Alicia Beckman (Crooked Lane Books; available in hardcover, ebook, and audio): 

When four women separated by tragedy reunite at a lakeside Montana lodge, murder forces them to confront everything they thought they knew about the terrifying accident that tore them apart, in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman's suspense debut.

Twenty-five years ago, during a celebratory weekend at historic Whitetail Lodge, Sarah McCaskill had a vision. A dream. A nightmare. When a young man was killed, Sarah's guilt over having ignored the warning in her dreams devastated her. Her friendships with her closest friends, and her sister, fell apart as she worked to build a new life in a new city. But she never stopped loving Whitetail Lodge on the shores of Bitterroot Lake.

Now that she's a young widow, her mother urges her to return to the lodge for healing. But when she arrives, she's greeted by an old friend--and by news of a murder that's clearly tied to that tragic day she'll never forget.

And the dreams are back, too. What dangers are they warning of this time? As Sarah and her friends dig into the history of the lodge and the McCaskill family, they uncover a legacy of secrets and make a discovery that gives a chilling new meaning to the dreams. Now, they can no longer ignore the ominous portents from the past that point to a danger more present than any of them could know.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, continuing in July 2022 with Peppermint Barked. She's the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories. Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. As Alicia Beckman, she writes standalone suspense, beginning with Bitterroot Lake (2021) and continuing with Blind Faith (October 2022, Crooked Lane Books).

A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by her website and subscribe to her seasonal newsletter, for a chat about the writing life, what she's working on, and  what she's reading -- and a free short story. And join her on Facebook where she shares book news and giveaways from her writer friends, and talks about food, mysteries, and the things that inspire her.


  1. It looks pretty and must taste good, too.
    As Lucy will tell you, cooking your own beans (Rancho Gordo, for example) makes for luscious beans. But when you don't want to plan two hours ahead like that, canned beans are a kitchen miracle!

    1. I've certainly cooked my own beans, esp black and kidney, many times, but as you say, that requires planning, and for a small amount of beans in a shorter time, bring on that miracle!

  2. Yum! I might try chickpeas in place of the white beans, but yum!

  3. Love white beans! I tend to add lemon juice at the very end of cooking a dish, so the taste remains fresh. And that way, you can add it until it tastes right.