Creamy Pumpkin Risotto for a Rainy Day

I love pumpkin. I’m sure I am repeating myself. But I just love the texture, the subtle taste and the delightfully bright color. It’s the perfect vegetable to brighten up those dreary winter days. Whenever I see those lovely big chunks of pumpkin on the shelf of my green grocer, I cannot resist. I grab one and look for ways to use it at home. Here’s a very comforting way to turn pumpkin into a delicious dairy side dish or main dish for vegetarians.

Risotto is such a wonderful comfort food. It’s not as daunting as all those cooking shows would have you believe. You don’t have to stand over the pot every second and stir, but it does require a little more loving attention than a regular pot of rice. And the result is just yummy. My second vegetable is zucchini because I have people in my house who hate mushrooms, but you can substitute mushrooms instead if you’re a fan. And please don’t scimp on the parmesan cheese – it makes the dish.



3 teaspoons + 4 teaspoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium-sized onion finely diced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1-2 cups diced pumpkin (the pieces should be quite small – about 1½ cm / ½ an inch

1 medium-sized zucchini diced or about 8-10 white mushrooms diced (or both if you want)

1½ cups arborio (risotto) rice

4-5 cups hot stock (parev chicken or vegetable)

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper

½-¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese

How to do it

  1. In a medium sized pot (preferably non-stick but not essential) melt the 3 teaspoons butter and olive oil. Add the onion and fry on medium heat until soft (not brown). Add the garlic and stir together for about a minute (do not let it burn).
  2. Add the rice and stir it into the onion and garlic until the rice is well coated in the oil. Stir in the pumpkin and the zucchini / mushrooms. Mix well.
  3. Increase the heat to high and add 1 cup of the stock and stir the mixture well until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium heat and allow the liquid to simmer, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Then add another cup of liquid, and stir it in, stirring now and again. When that is absorbed, add some more liquid, and repeat this process until the rice is just cooked (don’t overcook the rice, so add smaller amounts of liquid each time after the 2nd cup, and keep tasting). Make sure that not all the liquid cooks away – a good risotto should be just slightly runny and not stodgy. This should take about 15 minutes.
    Note – you don’t have to use all the stock once you see that your rice is cooked and the consistency is right.
  4. Add the extra 4 teaspoons butter and stir well till it’s melted.
  5. Turn off the heat and add the salt and freshly ground pepper, parsley and parmesan cheese, and stir well through the mixture. Serve immediately.

Serves about 6 as a side dish


Simplest Oven Veggies

Thanksgiving is sneaking up on us. With so many dishes to prepare, it’s always good to have an easy side dish that requires minimal effort and ingredients. This one fits the bill. It’s a 4 veggie oven baked vegetable dish with a flavor boost from none other than a bit of onion soup powder. I’m not a huge proponent of adding fake flavoring, so look for a powder without too many nasty preservatives. Don’t leave it out though because it gives nice flavor.

Originally I used to have potatoes in this dish, with the cauliflower, zucchini and carrots, but recently I entertained friends who don’t eat carbs, and I tried fennel instead of potato. What a huge difference. Not only does this substitute make the dish lighter, it also adds a great boost of flavor. I will not go back to potatoes for this one.

Here’s another tip: If you don’t yet have an oil sprayer, go out and buy one (look for one that doesn’t need pumping). They are a great way to get all the vegetables coated in oil without making the dish very oily. And you’ll use it for so many other dishes too.

The main thing here is patience – don’t under cook the veggies or they will lack flavor – let them get nice and browned to bring out all their natural sweetness.



1 medium-sized head of cauliflower, rinsed, dried and cut into bite- sized florettes

4 medium sized zucchinis, sliced lengthways and then sliced into fat slices (about 1-2cm / half an inch)

4 medium-sized carrots peeled and sliced in thick slices

1 large fennel bulb with the top and bottom cut off and cut into about 12 pieces.

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Ground kosher salt

2 tablespoons onion soup powder

How to do it

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF)
  2. Pour a thin layer of olive oil into a medium-sized baking dish, or line an oven tray with baking paper and drizzle the oil onto the paper and spread it evenly on the bottom. Throw all the vegetables into the dish.
  3. Sprinkle the onions soup powder over the top and toss the vegetables around a little. If not all the veggies are lightly coated in oil, spray some extra oil over them. Grinks some salt over the top.
  4. Bake for 1-1.5 hours, stirring everying half an hour or so, until the veggies are nice and golden brown, and all cooked through.

Serve hot. Serves about 6 as a side dish.

Curried Quinoa Ahead of Autumn

When my kids were little, we were members of a swimming pool at a nearby moshav. It would always amuse me when, on September 1, in anticipation of a barely noticable drop in temperature following our very hot Augusts, the pool would discernably empty out during this still pretty sweltering month. The reason, people would tell me, was that it just wasn’t very hot any more. This 3 or so degree difference put everyone into a fall state of mind, while we would enjoy the virtual privacy of the swimming pool.

A couple of weeks, when I threw together a rustic curried quinoa dish to feed my vegan relatives, I reminded myself of those premature celebrators of the end of summer. Even though the mercury is still way up there, I gathered a bunch of autumn veggies, and put together a tummy warming curried quinoa dish. It was one of those ” this is what I’ve got in the fridge” moments, that worked out really well.

The advantages of this dish is that it’s vegan and can work well as a main dish if you’re not going for animal proteins. It also takes about 20 minutes to prepare. And now that I’ve added it to my reportoire, I will definiely be making this again as the temperatures (eventually) drop towards winter.



1 cup of quinoa cooked according to the directions on the package

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 medium sized carrots finely diced

1 large onion finely diced

1 medium sized zucchini diced

About 2 cups of pumpkin diced

2-3 medium sized very ripe tomatoes peeled and diced

About 1 tablespoon of medium strength curry powder (or to taste)

2-3 tablespoons of chutney or 2 teaspoons brown sugar (use chutney if you have it)

Salt and pepper

How to do it

  1. Cook the quinoa in a small pot
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, dice all the vegetables. In a large skillet, heat the oil and add the carrots, and stir for about a minute or two, Then add the onions and saute for another few minutes until the carrots just start getting soft. Then add the zucchini and the pumpkin and saute until they are both cooked.
  3. Add the tomatoes and the curry powder and cook until the tomatoes just start breaking down (about 3-4 minutes).
  4. Add the chutney or brown sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix through.
  5. Add the cooked quinoa to the vegetables and mix through thoroughly.

Serve hot. Serves 4 as a main dish and 6-8 as a side dish

Greetings from Belgrade

Serbian Spinach Pie

I just spent a glorious week in Belgrade, Serbia. Not an obvious choice for a vacation, but I traveled for a baseball tournament and found myself in an city not quite on the European tourist map, and I could not have been happier. Turns out that this underappreciated and underrated city one of the world’s great culinary gems. The restaurants are all beautifully appointed, each with its own distinct design flair. You have to look very far to find a run of the mill diner or coffee shop. In a week of schlepping around, I did not see one. Then there’s the food. Wow! Serbians have a way with it. Their local cuisine, while heavy on the meat, also embraces cheeses, pastas and vegetables, all fresh and handled with great affection. Their historic and geographic connections with Greece and Italy have turnd Serbia into a hub for great food. Step aside Paris and Rome – Belgrade is the upstart culinary heart of Europe.

One of the many delicious dishes I tasted was the traditional Serbian spinach pie, known locally as Pita Zeljanica (no actual pita is involved). This dish is a cousin of the Greek spanakopita with a more delicate cheese flavor. A waiter in a restaurant insisted we try it – Serbian wait staff are amazing when it comes to recommending the right thing to eat. You tell them what you want and then then tell you to order something else, and they’re always right. Trust them.

When I got home, I had to share this experience with my kids. Here’s a recipe that’s not exactly like what I ate because there’s less dough and more filling, but I like that, so I’m sharing here. I like the filling to be less salty, so I don’t add salty cheese but you can experiment with half cottage and half feta. Most of the process is simple, until you get to the filo, which is a bit finicky, but worth it. This pie is huge, and it’s quite heavy so it serves a bunch of people. And added bonus, it reheats really well. Keep this one on file for Shavuot.

Serbian Spinach Pie (Pita Zeljanica)


1.2kg (2.5lb) fresh spinach, cleaned, torn into smaller pieces
500g (1lb) grated hard yellow cheese
500g (1lb) cottage cheese (use high fat) – you can substitute half with feta cheese.
3 tablespoons sour cream
½ cup milk
6 large beaten eggs
½ cup flour
½ cup yellow corn meal
1 teaspoon salt and some fresh ground black pepper
8 sheets thawed filo dough (read instructions for thawing on the box)
75g (3oz) melted butter

How to do it

  1. In a large pan or wok, sautee the spinach until its completely wilted (about 3 minutes). I do it in batches so it’s easier to deal with such a large quantity. Place the spinach in a strainer when it’s done to drain all fluids. Allow to cool off. Then squeeze as much of the excess water off as you can.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cheeses, sour cream, milk, eggs, flour, corn meal, salt, pepper and spinach.
  4. Melt the butter in a small pot on the stove over low heat.
  5. Lightly brush a 34x22cm (13×9-inch) baking pan with a little of the melted butter. Lay down 1 sheet of the filo dough, lightly brush it all over with butter. Continue with another 3 sheets, buttering each layer as you go
  6. Spread filling over filo base. Lay down another sheet of filo dough, brush it with butter and add 3 more sheets of filo, buttering each layer, and butter the top layer generously. Trim the excess edges of the filo and tuck whatever you can trim into the pie.
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the top is goldenbrown and the filling is set (when a knife inserted comes out clean).
  8. Allow to cool down a little before serving.

Serve with a crisp green salad.

Serves about 8.

Pasta-free Zucchini Lasagna for Pesach

Zucchini Lasagna

You know those recipes that people post on their Facebook statuses? I am sure most of you ignore them. But recently, one caught my eye for a zucchini parmesan. Coming just before Pesach, I decided it was worth a second read as it didn’t have any chametz.

I wasn’t excited about the part that called for frying the zucchini, but I saw the potential and decided to transform it into a “fake lasagna” that would work well as a side dish or even main dish for vegetarians for Pesach. So I went all mad-cook on the recipe, and came out with a dish that will definitely become part of my year-round repertoire. It’s got all the flavors of lasagna without the pasta, so this means it’s also good for those who stay away from gluten.



2 tablespoons olive oil

4-6 large zucchinis sliced lengthways into half centimeter (¼ inch) slices (if you only have small zucchinis, then make sure you have enough to cover two full oven trays). Slice off a thin slice of skin on either side of the zucchini so that there aren’t any slices that are half skin. zucchinilasagna1

300 g (12 oz) grated Mozzarella

400g (14 oz) crushed tomatoes

4-5 garlic cloves crushed

6-8 fresh chopped basil leaves

1 teaspoon sugar

250 g (½lb) ricotta cheese (you can also use cottage cheese)

1 egg

Salt and pepper to taste

100 g (4 oz) grated Parmesan or Emmental cheese (any cheese with a nice tang)

How to do it

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF)

2. Line two large baking trays with baking paper and lightly spread them with olive oil. Line the trays with the sliced zucchini – squeeze them all in there; there’s no need for space between the slices.

3. Roast for about half an hour till just starting to get color, turning them over halfway through. (Make sure not to overcook them as they will get too soft and you won’t be able to handle them.)

3. In a small saucepan, heat some olive oil and fry the garlic just until it starts to get golden. Add the crushed tomato, chopped fresh basil leaves, salt and pepper, and sugar. Allow to come to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Set aside.

4. In a bowl, combine the egg, ricotta cheese, salt and pepper. Mix till combined. Set aside.

5. To assemble, grease a medium-sized baking dish with a little olive oil or cooking spray. Evenly spread about 4-5 tablespoons of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.

6. Place a layer of zucchini strips on top of the tomato sauce, trying to cover as much of the area as possible. Spread the ricotta mixture over the tomato sauce, spread about one third of the tomato sauce over the ricotta, and then sprinkle about half the grated Mozzarella over the tomato sauce.

7. Add another layer of the zucchini strips on top of the cheese, and spread another one third of the tomato sauce over it, followed by the rest of the Mozarella.

8. Add a final layer of zucchini strips, followed by tomato sauce and the Parmesan or Emmental cheese, spreading it evenly over the top of the dish.

9. Bake at 180ºC (350ºF) for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese starts browning slightly.

Serves about 8 as a side dish.

If you love risotto, you’ll love this

Fake red rice risotto

Fake red rice risotto

Here’s a recipe that has all the yumminess (I know it’s not a word but it should be) of risotto, without the endless stirring and with a whole bunch of nutritional value from brown or red rice. I love red rice – it’s got a really good flavor and never gets mushy, but this will work with any of the whole grain rices you enjoy. Just make sure you don’t use white rice.

This is hard to beat as a dairy side dish. In fact, for those vegetarians among you, it could go down well as a main dish too. The first time I served this I knew it would not be the last time. The reviews were stellar, and this one is definitely a keeper in my house. Serve this as a side dish with fish, and you’ve got a sensational main course.

The original recipe is from the Smitten Kitchen, but I’ve tweaked it a little to suit my needs (and laziness).



2 cups uncooked brown, red or mixed rice

2 large onions, quartered and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper to taste

1 bag 300g (one prewashed bag) spinach

2 cups of grated yellow cheese (use a cheese with a lot of flavor like cheddar or emmental)

½ cup parev chicken or vegetable broth (for reheating only)

How to do it

1. Cook the rice according to the directions on the package. You can do this ahead of time and refrigerate the rice until you are ready to make the whole dish.

2. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil and butter and add the onions. Fry them on medium heat until they are caramel brown in color, stirring occasionally. This will take a while (25-30 minutes).

3. Slice the spinach leaves into strips and add to the onions and let them wilt. This will take about a minute.

4. Assemble the dish by mixing the rice and grated cheese into the onions and spinach. Season to taste.

5. If you are reheating this, add some stock before reheating so that it doesn’t dry out.

Serves about 8 as a side dish.

Easy and delicious Rosh Hashana Green Beans

Lots of symbolic foods compete for table space at Rosh Hashana meals. It’s hard to cover all of them, but here’s one that’s so easy and delicious, you’re going to want to make sure you add it to your menu.

On Rosh Hashana, green beans symbolize prosperity and increased blessings for the New Year. The Talmudic instructs us to eat “rubiya” (actually fenugreek, a small seed-filled pod), pointing to the Hebrew word for increase or multiply. Some people substitute green beans for fenugreek;  others use black-eyed peas.

This recipe throws in some honey for good measure, but also a lot of good Asian flavors that balance the sweetness.

Make sure you buy fresh, thin green beans. The thicker ones tend to get dry and stalky, and don’t taste good.


500g (1 lb) green beans topped and tailed

About 1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons honey or silan (date honey)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

4 cloves of crushed garlic

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon finely grated ginger

½ teaspoon sesame oil


1. Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F)

2. Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread the olive oil evenly. Spread beans out and roll them around in the oil so they are evenly coated.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.

3. While the beans are roasting, mix together the remaining ingredients – honey/silan, soy sauce, garlic, orange juice, ginger and sesame oil in a small bowl.

4. Remove beans from oven and coat them evenly with the sauce. Return the tray to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes. For firmer, juicier beans, only bake for 5 minutes. If you prefer the beans a lot softer then bake for 10 minutes. I recommend 5 minutes.

Serves about 6 as a side dish.

This can be served hot or room temperature.


Recipes with Friends

Roasted kohlrabi, beets and fennel

I love getting tips and new ideas from my friends. I also love brainstorming with them to come up with new ideas. Both of these happened to be when I was on a recent visit to Cape Town. At a glorious BBQ at her home, my friend Marianna introduced me to a new idea for serving kohlrabi. A relatively common vegetable in Israel, it’s less known in other countries. I first met this hard root veggie when I moved to Israel. It’s always served raw and in salads – I don’t love it as I think it’s rather bland. Marianna shook things up by roasting it, and it was sensational. A few nights later, I was treated to another wonderful meal at my friend Adrienne who roasted beets and fennel together. That too was a great combo. Then the topic of roasted kohlrabi came up, and hey presto, the two of us figured that throwing all three into the roasting pan had to be a good idea. It was!

I now have a new favorite roasted veggie combo that taste amazing, is really easy to prepare, and the best part is that whenever I make it, I’ll think about Marianna and Adrienne. Food and friends are really the best combination. Thanks ladies – this one’s for you.



Kohrabi, beets and fennel

Kohrabi, beets and fennel

1-2 large fennel bulbs

2 large beets

3 kohlrabis

1-2 heads of garlic (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Coarse salt

2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (for serving)

How to do it

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F)

2. Line a large roasting pan with baking paper and grease it with some of the olive oil.

3. Fennel – slice off the base of the fennel, and tops and peel the outer layer. Chop into large bit size chunks.

4. Kohlrabi – peel the kohlrabi and cut them into large bite size chunks.

5. Beets – peel the beets and cut them into bite size chunks that are smaller than the kohlrabi and the fennel as the beets take a little longer to cook.

6. Place all the veggies in the baking dish, including the whole heads of garlic, sprinkle with salt and the remaining olive oil and toss to coat all the veggies in oil. Bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until a fork smoothly enters a piece of beet.

7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Squeeze the garlic out of the peels into the veggies (if using), sprinkle with Balsamic vinegar, toss around and serve at room temperature or warm.

Serves about 6 people.

It’s Thanksgivikkah – pumpkin, meet potato

Pumpkin potato latkes for Thanksgivikkah

Next week, for the first time since 1888, we get to light Hanukkah candles on Thanksgiving. The next time we’ll get to do it… 2070 according to Chabad, and some pessimists say it won’t be for another 70,000 or so years. Either way, this year is a once or twice in a lifetime to go Thanksgivikkah crazy and make… pumpkin latkes! OK, so this may not be the culinary event of seven millenia, but why not?

In honor of this meeting of worlds, traditions, events and gastro-rituals, I threw together this recipe. I wasn’t sure if it would work – pumpkin is rather watery and can cause problems when added to a mixture that you’d rather not see running with liquid. The secret is in the flour… don’t skip it! Also, as you know, I hate frying and see no need to not bake these in the oven – easier and less fattening too. But if you feel the need to maintain the Hanukkah tradition of soaking all you eat in hot oil, skip the oven stage and fry them instead in hot oil as you would regular latkes.

If the picture is less than glam, it’s because my family grabbed them hot off the baking pan and demolished them before you could say “Maccabi Pilgrims!”



700-800 g (1½ lbs) pumpkin

2 medium sized potatoes

2 eggs

¼ cup of flour (you can also use whole wheat)

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

3 tablespoons oil

How to do it

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF).

2. Cut the pumpkin into 2-3cm (1 inch) thick slices and place on a lighly oiled and baking papered baking tray. Roast for about half an hour or until the pupkin is completely cooked through and slightly browning. (You can do this a day or two before and store in the fridge).

3. Grate the potatoes (not finely) and rinse them in water to get rid of the starch. Place them in a colander to drain – leave them to drain for about half and hour (at least).  Squeeze out as much liquid as you can with your hands.

4. In a mixing bowl combine the potato, pumpkin (which you mash up with a fork), eggs, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon (if using).

5. Place a piece of baking paper on a large baking tray and spread the oil on the paper evenly. Drop about one tablespoon of the mixture on the paper and flatten it a bit with the spoon or a spatula and tuck in any loose strands of potato so they don’t burn. Squeeze any excess egg mixture out of the batter before you drop it on the tray.

6. Bake for 15 minutes. Then turn over each latke and bake for another 15 minutes or until both sides are browned (you don’t have to add more oil – there will be oil left on the paper).

6. Place the latkes on a double layer of paper towel to dab off any excess oil.

Makes about 20 latkes.

Serve with sour cream and apple sauce or with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Thanksgiving’s Coming – Time for Pilgrim Cholent

In anticipation of the Thanksgiving meal I’ll be hosting at my house, I decided to plan ahead and get some food in the freezer. My husband challenged me to make baked beans in the slow cooker. I’ve never tackled home made baked beans, after all, why turn your back on Heinz? But challenge accepted, I trolled for recipes that would work with our local ingredients. I found a suitable starting point in The Vegetarian Epicure. I had to make some adjustments for what’s available in Israel, as well as some updates to cooking methods that have taken place since the early 1970s, when the book was written. But ultimately, what emerged was a rich, flavorful, comforting vegetarian dish that has an interesting connection to the Thanksgiving story, and funnily enough, to our own traditional Shabbat cooking.

Baked beans are believed to have originally been a Native American dish of beans cooked with venison, bear fat, and maple syrup, and baked in pits lined with hot stones. This dish was adapted by the Pilgrims, whose religion forbade them from cooking cook from sundown Saturday to sundown Sunday (not unlike observant Jews on Shabbat). So slow cooked baked beans made the perfect New England Saturday night supper because the leftovers could be eaten warm the next morning for breakfast. Anyone for Pilgrim Cholent?

So not only does it turn out that this dish is as appropriate for Thanksgiving as turkey (something I didn’t know when accepting my husband’s cooking challenge), but it also draws an interesting parallel between Jewish and Pilgrim culinary observance.

Beans freeze really well, so this is a great dish to put in the freezer. I made a double batch so we could freeze our beans and eat them as well. This dish can also be baked in the oven, so I have both options in the recipe. I recommend the slow cooker as you don’t have to check it once it’s in. Serve this with rice, corn bread, couscous or just plain.

I am confident that this will be a great side dish for Thanksgiving, as it certainly fits with the Thanksgiving story and just tastes wonderful.

Baked Beans Served with Couscous



2 cups dried pinto or navy beans (any small bean will do)

4 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bay leaf

2 diced onions

4 diced carrots

2 diced red peppers

2 cloves of garlic crushed

1 tablespoon chicken soup powder

¾ cup tomato paste

1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder

½ cup Silan (date honey) Note: If you prefer the dish to be less sweet, use 1/3 of a cup instead. You can also use molasses, syrup or honey.

1 teaspoon dried ginger

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup red wine or regular vinegar

Salt and black pepper to taste

How to do it

1. Soak the beans overnight in a large pot of water, where the water covers the beans generously (the beans will expand).

2. Pour the water off, rinse the beans and refill the pot with clean water so there is about 5 cm (2 inches) of water above the beans. Add 2 whole cloves of garlic, olive oil, bay leaf and salt. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat to low and simmer for an hour until the beans are softened. Drain the beans, saving the bean water for the cooking process. Discard the bay leaf.

3. Place the beans, onions, carrot and pepper into the slow cooker. Mix 1 cup of the bean water, chicken soup powder, garlic, tomato paste, mustard, cayenne pepper, Silan, ginger, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and mix through. Cook on low heat for 8 hours.

For oven baking:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C (300°F)

2. Pre-cook the beans as in steps 1 & 2 above.

3. In a large skillet, saute the onions, carrots and peppers in olive oil until they are just tender (do not overcook – they will continue to soften in the oven). Mix into the drained beans.

4. Mix 1 cup of the bean water, chicken soup powder, garlic, tomato paste, mustard, cayenne pepper, Silan, ginger, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper and pour over the beans and vegetables, mixing well. Place in a large, heavy casserole dish and cover tightly. Bake in the oven for 7-8 hours, checking to make sure the beans aren’t drying out. If they are, add some of the bean broth to moisten.

Serves 10-12 as a side dish. Service with rice, corn bread or couscous.