Although we certainly are carnivores in my family, I love to eat meatless meals and try to eat about three dinners a week without any meat. For those interested in the health and environmental benefits of eating less meat, you can read books by Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan, who both still enjoy an occasional steak. On our weekly pizza night, I always fix a vegetarian pizza for myself (with maybe some good anchovies). I try to fix at least one or two seafood/fish dinners a week and I love to make meatless pasta dishes. But one of the best meals you can fix for dinner involves that super food: beans. It's a high quality protein that is very cheap with no animal fat and lots of fiber. I get my beans these days mostly from Rancho Gordo, that wonderful farm out in Napa Valley run by Steve Sando. He grows the most high quality, fresh beans you will ever taste. You certainly can used canned beans and they are fine, but try buying some great quality dried beans sometime. They are still so much cheaper than buying meat. He has some wonderful varieties that you will never find in the grocery store. For this recipe, I used cellini. You really can use any bean you like.
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbe's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
Boy, talk about an easy appetizer. How about using just two ingredients (three if you want to add the chopped basil) for a pretty, delicious dish of bite sized morsels? Roasting the peppers is an easy thing to do and if you've never done this yourself, start now. You will have another great technique in your cooking arsenal that will come in very handy. You can use this method to make Peperonata or to roast peppers for a sauce or side dish.