The Dish: Joe Yonan shares bean-based vegetarian recipes from his book "Cool Beans"

Growing up in west Texas, food writer and author Joe Yonan loved to cook. He remembers the first meal he whipped up — chicken fried steak, a Texas favorite. He eventually became a newspaper reporter, but when the daily grind got to him, he decided to focus on food.

Starting at the Boston Globe, Yonan is now the influential food and dining editor at the Washington Post as well as the author of four cookbooks. His latest book is "Cool Beans: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with the World's Most Versatile Plant-Based Protein."

Yonan joined "CBS This Morning" on Saturday to share some of his recipes. 


BLACK CHICKPEA HUMMUS WITH BLACK GARLIC AND PRESERVED LEMON (Makes about 4 cups)

Ingredients:

  • 14 ounces dried black chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
  • Water
  • 2 (3 by 5-inch) strips kombu (dried seaweed)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup chopped preserved lemon, plus more for garnish
  • 4 black garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup smoked olive oil (may substitute regular olive oil)
  • Flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish


Directions:
Combine the chickpeas, 6 cups water, kombu, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until the chickpeas are tender, 60 to 90 minutes. Let the chickpeas cool slightly (or refrigerate for up to 5 days), then drain the chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquid.

Scoop out 1/4 cup or so of the chickpeas to save for garnish.

Combine the remaining chickpeas with 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, tahini, preserved lemon, and garlic in a blender, preferably a high-powered one such as a Vitamix. Blend until smooth, adding more cooking liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, if needed to keep the mixture from stalling the blender. Continue adding liquid and blending until the mixture is creamy and light textured but not runny. (It should be the texture of thick cake batter.) You might need to use all of the cooking liquid. Taste and add more salt if needed.

To serve, dollop the hummus onto a large serving platter, use the back of a large spoon to swirl it around the plate, and drizzle with the olive oil. Garnish with the reserved chickpeas, preserved lemon, and parsley. Serve with bread, pickles, and/or raw vegetables.

(Note: You can also make this in a stovetop or electric pressure cooker. Bring to high pressure and cook for 25 minutes if using a stovetop model or 30 minutes if using an electric model, then turn off and let the pressure naturally release.)


HUMMA-NOUSH (Makes about 2 cups) 

Ingredients

  • 3 medium to large Italian eggplants
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked or canned no-salt-added chickpeas (from one 15-ounce can), drained and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sumac, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton; optional)
  • Smoked olive oil (may substitute regular olive oil), for drizzling


Directions
Prepare a grill for direct heat with a medium-hot fire. If using charcoal, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the grate for 4 to 6 seconds. For a gas grill, preheat for 10 minutes to 450 º F (medium-high). For cooking indoors, turn the oven to broil (high if your oven has different broiler settings) and set the rack position so the eggplant on a baking sheet will be just a few inches from the flame or element. (It will get smoky, so consider yourself warned!)

Pierce the eggplants all over with a sharp paring knife. Rub the eggplants with the grapeseed oil and place them directly on the grill or on a large rimmed baking sheet under the broiler. Cook the eggplants, turning as needed, until they have thoroughly blackened and burned to an ashen crisp on each side and completely collapsed, 40 to 60 minutes. Remove from the grill or oven and let cool.

When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, slash each one open and scrape the flesh into the bowl of a food processor or blender. (You should have about 1 1/2 cups eggplant flesh.) Add the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, sumac, salt, and smoked paprika, if using, and puree until smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed.

To serve, scoop into a shallow bowl and use a large spoon to make a swoosh. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with a little sumac.

Serve with pita, carrot chips, or any other raw vegetable of your choice.


CORN HUMMUS WITH SPICY CORN RELISH (8 to 12 servings) 

Ingredients 

HUMMUS (Makes about 5 cups)

  • 3 large ears corn, husks intact
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 2 (3 by 5-inch) strips kombu (dried seaweed)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 yellow onion, halved
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Water
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric


CORN RELISH (Makes about 2 1/2 cups)

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 Turkish pickled hot peppers (or Greek or Italian pepperoncini), chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Marash chile flakes (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups reserved corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tablespoons roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish


Directions (Hummus)
Run water over the corn cobs in their husks and microwave on high for 5 to 7 minutes, until steaming hot. Let cool slightly, then use your fingers to feel where the row of kernels ends on the wide end of the cob (opposite the silk end) and use a sharp knife to cut through those last kernels and through the cob. Holding the silk end, squeeze each cob out of the husk from that end; it should pop out clean and slightly cooked. Rinse if needed to get more of the silks off. Cut each cob in half crosswise, then stand one half at a time on a cutting board, cut side down, and slice off the kernels. Reserve 1 cup of the kernels for the hummus and the remainder for the relish.

Add the cobs to a large pot, along with the chickpeas, kombu, bay leaf, onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and enough water to cover everything by 1 inch. Set over high heat, bring to a boil, boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until the chickpeas are very soft, 60 to 90 minutes. (Check the water periodically and add more as needed to keep everything covered.)

When the chickpeas are soft, remove the bay leaf, cobs, onion, and kombu. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquid.

Transfer the chickpeas to a high-speed blender or food processor. Add 1 cup of the reserved corn kernels, plus the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, turmeric, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and process until very smooth. You want the consistency to be like thick, pourable pancake batter. Add more cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time if needed to loosen. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice, if needed.

(Note: You can also make this in a stovetop or electric pressure cooker: bring to high pressure and cook for 25 minutes if using a stovetop model or 30 minutes if using an electric model, then turn off and let the pressure naturally release.)

Directions (Corn Relish)
Pour the olive oil into a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, stir in the pickled peppers, coriander, cumin, chile flakes, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the corn and cook until the corn loses any raw taste, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and use the spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomatoes and parsley and remove from the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed.


SPICY ETHIOPIAN RED LENTIL DIP (Makes about 2 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sunflower, grapeseed, or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon berbere
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • Water


Directions
Pour the oil into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, stir in the onion and garlic and sauté until tender and starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the berbere, the tomato paste, ginger, and salt and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the lentils and 2 cups water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender and the mixture is very thick, about 25 minutes.

Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon berbere, taste, and add more salt, if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature, with pitas or other chips or crudités.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


HARISSA-ROASTED CARROT AND WHITE BEAN DIP (Makes about 2 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon harissa, plus more (optional) for finishing the dish
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing the dish
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked or canned no-salt added white beans (from one 15-ounce can), drained but not rinsed (reserve the liquid)
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves, plus more chopped mint for finishing the dish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
cool-beans-harissa-roasted-carrot-and-white-bean-dip.jpg
Cool Beans


Directions
Preheat the oven to 450°F.

On a small rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots with the harissa, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and the salt. Place the garlic on one side of the sheet. Roast until the carrots are fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Squeeze the soft garlic cloves out of their skins into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add the carrots and use a spatula to scrape in as much of the browned roasted harissa bits from the pan as possible. Reserving a few whole beans for garnish if desired, add the rest to the food processor or blender, plus the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, mint, and lemon juice and puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add a little water or some of the reserved bean liquid, a few tablespoons at a time, to loosen the mixture if it is too pasty in texture. Taste and add more salt if needed.

To serve, spoon the dip onto a shallow plate and use the back of a spoon to swirl it. Add the whole beans and a little dollop or two of harissa, if desired, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with the chopped mint. Serve with pitas, crackers, or raw vegetables.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


WINTER SALAD WITH CRANBERRY BEANS, SQUASH, AND POMEGRANATE (Makes 4 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • Water
  • 1 pound delicata or acorn squash
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 13/4 cups cooked cranberry beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • Arugula flowers, microgreens, or other edible blossoms (optional)
cool-beans-winter-salad-with-cranberry-beans-squash-and-pomegranate.jpg
Cool Beans


Directions
Combine the wild rice with 2 cups water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the wild rice is tender and split, 60 to 90 minutes. Drain.

While the wild rice is cooking, set a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 425º F.

Use a serrated knife to slice off the stem end of the squash, then scoop out the seeds. Reserve the seeds for roasting, if you'd like. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. When the oven is hot, scatter the squash slices on the preheated baking sheet, making sure not to overlap any, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

In a large bowl, toss the roasted squash with the cooked rice, arugula, beans, pomegranate seeds, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drizzle the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over the salad and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt if needed. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top, garnish with the flowers or microgreens, if desired, and serve immediately.


FUSILLI WITH WHITE BEANS, CHERRY TOMATOES, AND CORN SAUCE (Makes 8 servings) 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • Water
  • 1 pound whole-wheat fusilli, farfalle, or other curly pasta
  • 8 ears fresh corn
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups cooked and cooled lady cream peas (may substitute cooked or canned no-salt-added navy beans or black-eyed peas, from one 29-ounce can or two 15-ounce cans), drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup finely grated vegan or traditional Parmesan, or a combination of 2 tablespoons toasted bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves, chopped


Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, until al dente, and drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, shuck the corn and rinse the cobs under running water, using your hands to remove as much of the silk as you can.

Set a box grater over a bowl and run 4 of the cobs across the coarse side of the grater. (You should have about 1 1/2 cups "milk" and pulp.) Cut the remaining cobs in half crosswise, then stand one half at a time on a cutting board, cut side down, and slice off the kernels. Keep the whole kernels (about 3 cups) separate from the "milk" and pulp.

Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic; sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and sweet, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and add the corn kernels and tomatoes. Sauté until the corn brightens and softens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lady cream peas and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Add the pasta to the skillet, along with the reserved corn "milk" and pulp. Toss to combine, adding the reserved pasta water a little at a time if the sauce needs loosening. Stir in the Parmesan, plus the salt and pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the basil, divide the pasta among serving bowls, and serve hot.

(Note: If you have any Crunchy Spiced Roasted Chickpeas around, blitz some of those in the food processor to use instead of bread crumbs, to combine with the nutritional yeast instead of the Parmesan.)


RATATOUILLE CASSOULET (Makes 6 servings) 

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons za'atar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce can) crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 4 ounces (about 2/3 cup) dried flageolet beans (may substitute cannellini beans or other small white bean), soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 (8-ounce) eggplant (or half a larger eggplant), thinly sliced
  • 1 (8-ounce) zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 (8-ounce) yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup panko-style or other dry bread crumbs


Directions
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into a large, deep ovenproof skillet or flameproof casserole (that has a lid) over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the za'atar, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the tomatoes and beans, stir to incorporate, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat.

Starting at the outer edge of the skillet and working your way around, arrange alternating slices of the eggplant, zucchini, and summer squash in concentric circles on top of the tomato-bean mixture, tightly overlapping them. Continue working your way toward the center of the dish and make sure to completely cover the tomato-bean mixture. Arrange the bell pepper on top.

Drizzle the vegetables with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Cover the skillet and bake for 1 hour; the ratatouille will look soupy, and the beans won't be quite tender. Uncover it, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, return to the oven, uncovered, and bake for another hour, until the bread crumbs are browned, the liquid is thickly bubbling around the edges, and the beans on the bottom layer are very tender.

Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve hot, with bread and/or the grain of your choice.


CHOCOLATE, RED BEAN, AND ROSE BROWNIES (Makes 6 servings)

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons vegan or dairy butter or coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing the muffin tin
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon chickpea flour, plus more for dusting (may substitute all-purpose flour)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added adzuki beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup aquafaba (the liquid from a shaken can of no-salt-added chickpeas)
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free or traditional semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pistachios (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons crushed dried organic rose petals (optional)
cool-beans-chocolate-red-bean-and-rose-brownies-1.jpg
Cool Beans


Directions
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease one 6-muffin (jumbo) tin. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter, flour, adzuki beans, aquafaba, cocoa, salt, rose water, vanilla, sugar, and baking powder and process until very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups and smooth the tops with a spoon. If using, sprinkle on the chocolate chips, nuts, and/or rose petals.

Bake until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes before using a fork to remove them from the pan. They are meant to be very fudgy inside, so don't worry if they seem too moist.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


SALTY MARGARITA SOUR (Makes 1 serving)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) aquafaba (from one 15-ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Ice
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) fresh lime juice
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons (1 3/4 ounces) tequila, preferably blanco or reposado
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) Cointreau
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) agave nectar
  • Finely grated lime zest, for garnish (optional)
cool-beans-salty-margarita-sour-1.jpg
Cool Beans


Directions
Whisk the aquafaba and salt together in a small bowl until it turns white and foamy and expands in volume.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add the lime juice, tequila, Cointreau, and agave. Seal and shake vigorously for 15 seconds, then strain into a cocktail glass.

Spoon the aquafaba mixture on top, garnish with the lime zest, if desired, and drink.