I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by. It feels like we just got back from Italy last month instead of last year and almost 4 months ago! It was truly an amazing trip. You can read about our time in Venice and our time in Florence. I haven’t written about the rest of our trip, and at this point likely won’t (while I still have amazing memories, it doesn’t feel relevant to write about our time in Tuscany and Rome four months past the fact). Our favorite part of our journey though was Tuscany. It was so amazing, from the drive from Florence through the rolling landscape past the hill towns to the best AirBnb owned by the local restaurant owner (with free breakfast at the restaurant included, much to our surprise!), to the most delicious food and delectable wine I’ve had the pleasure of tasting.
One of the best dining experiences of our entire trip was at Osteria La Porta, the restaurant owned by Daria, our AirBnb host. We started the meal with an appetizer of melted young pecorino cheese served with prosciutto and bread. It was so comforting and delicious, and just the type of thing you really want to enjoy, but also don’t want to eat every day because of how decadent it is. We each had our own pasta course (mine being fresh gnocchi with Neal having fresh tortellini) and we shared a Bistecca alla Fiorentina served with rosemary garbanzo beans. Coming from a non-steak fan, the steak was truly fantastic. It was incredibly flavorful and melted in my mouth. However, the garbanzo beans are one of the things I couldn’t stop thinking of since we’ve been home. Perfectly cooked, the were the light accompaniment to the decadent meal and totally stole the show.
(my homemade version of the famous, show stopping garbanzo beans)
Luckily for me, garbanzo beans are super easy to make at home! I’ve made these probably 5 times within the last two months, and I truly can’t get enough! They’re great on their own, but fantastic served alongside this chimichurri inspired sauce. Bulk it up as I’ve done by adding quinoa, or even better, serve it with some balsamic sautéed mushrooms and a soft-boiled egg (we did this for dinner last night and it was so so good!!)
While these beans take time since they’re cooked from dry beans, they are so easy. You literally just throw fresh sprigs of rosemary in a pot with either pre-soaked or quick-soaked beans, roughly chopped garlic, salt, and olive oil. Top it off with water and set to boil for 25-40 minutes until done. Drain any reserving liquid and done!
While the beans are cooking is the perfect time to whip up this super simple, incredibly bright chimichurri inspired sauce. With parsley, cilantro, red onion, garlic, vinegar, and miso for depth of flavor, this sauce instantly turns the dial up on flavor! The sauce adds a brightness that brings out the earthy flavors of the rosemary beans. If you’re feeling lazy, a quick spritz of lemon juice and swig of your favorite extra virgin olive oil can jazz it up a bit. And to make it a meal, I highly recommend serving it with quinoa, balsamic sautéed mushrooms, and a soft-boiled egg. I only wish I thought to add the mushrooms and egg to this before taking photos and writing the recipe! Oh, and not that you need another reason to try this, but written as is (served without an egg) this recipe is naturally vegan and of course gluten free.
Bon appetit! Enjoy!