The Salve Of Kidney Bean and Mushroom Bourguignon

A hearty, vegetarian take on French bourguignon.
A hearty, vegetarian take on French bourguignon.

“We’ll always have Paris.”


While Rick and Ilsa of “Casablanca” may always have the memories of that magical city they met in, my husband’s and mine will have to wait.

Although I’ve traveled to Paris a couple of times, he never had. This was to be the year that we got serious about planning our first trip to Europe together. But so much for that. A killer virus, planes grounded to a halt, and the unbelievable complexities of going anywhere — even the corner store — put an end to that trip for the foreseeable future.

That’s why discovering this recipe for “Kidney Bean and Mushroom Bourguignon” was such a gift.

It’s from the cookbook, “Cool Beans: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with the World’s Most Versatile Plant-Based Protein, with 125 Recipes” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. This vegetarian cookbook that explores the wide, wonderful world of beans is by Joe Yonan, the food and dining editor of the Washington Post.

Whether you choose to cook your own beans from dried or open a can of ready-to-use ones, you will find creative ways to use them in this book.

This thick, hearty stew of kidney beans and cremini mushrooms gets its verve from fresh rosemary and full-bodied red wine (Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon).

Indeed, once the beans are cooked (or even faster, just used canned ones), it doesn’t take much time to prepare this dish. Just combine sauteed mushrooms with the beans, garlic, shallots, rosemary, and wine. A little flour and a little tomato paste help add more body.

It’s the wine that really makes this dish. You can taste its fruity complexity throughout.

You can imagine yourself tucking into this at a bistro by candlelight with a crusty baguette and a glass of red wine alongside.

To be honest, what I served it with is not in keeping with a plant-based cookbook. But if I can’t give Paris to my husband (aka Meat Boy), at the very least, I can bestow upon him some grilled garlic chicken sausages alongside to make him happy.

Bon appetit!
Bon Appetit!

Kidney Bean and Mushroom Bourguignon

(Makes 6 servings)

2 tablespoons vegan butter or dairy butter

1 pound cremini mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

6 large shallots, halved lengthwise

2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch coins

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 tablespoon flour

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups dark red wine, preferably Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon

1 tablespoon tomato paste

3 1/2 cups cooked or canned no-salt added red kidney beans (from two 15-ounce cans), drained and rinsed

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and exude their liquid and all but 1/2 cup of their liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms and their juices to a small bowl.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the pan. Stir in the shallots and carrots. Cook until the carrots begin to soften and the shallots start to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, then sprinkle in the flour and stir to coat.

Pour in 1 1/2 cups of the wine, add the tomato paste, and stir to incorporate. Cook until thick, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the beans and the cooked mushrooms and their juices and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. If the sauce has thickened too much, stir in another 1/4 cup of the wine to keep it loose. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper if needed.

Serve warm.

From “Cool Beans” by Joe Yonan

Another “Cool Beans” Recipe to Enjoy: French Green Lentils with A Trio of Mustards

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One comment

  • Cool recipe! And that’s as neat book — haven’t seen it yet, but it sounds like one of the better cookbooks out there at the moment. I think I’d add chunks of slab bacon to this dish. Not vegetarian, but good. 🙂

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