Beans have played a vital role in the nutritional health of many cultures throughout history. And trust me: Italians take their beans very seriously (like all food really). There are so many different kind of beans used in regional cuisine in Italy but in the States we only use and know the usually suspects. At DueLire we love the idea to play a different game with our beans so Chef Kevin started to research a little about Italian heirloom beans. He came across to two varieties we really loved: The Coco Nano and the Pavoni.
The Coco Nano heirloom beans are from Tuscany, luxurious in texture, slightly nutty, sweet and buttery flavor. A perfect complement for the trout, tossed together with the sweet citrusy flavored cherry tomatoes and the bitter richness of broccolini. Yummy!
And what about those Pavoni beans. The name comes from their colorful appearances like a Peacock (Pavone). Meaty and earthy with a smooth texture and a chestnut-like finish. I love them, especially when cooked in a rich pork broth and paired with a succulent pork porterhouse. Yummy, yummy!
And beside their amazing taste, beans are one of the most nutritionally complete foods available. In fact, beans are the only food to fit into TWO food groups on the USDA Food Guide Pyramid: vegetable and protein. The combination of healthy benefits and incredible variety of flavors and textures ensures the beans a place at many dinner tables including ours!