Beans with a meaty texture and flavor, such as these
Jacob's cattle beans, make a great match for smoky toasted corn and tomatoes.
Martha Stewart Living, July 2009
Yield Serves 6
2 cups (12 ounces) dried beans, such as Jacob's cattle (<a href="http://americanspice.com" target="_blank">americanspice.com</a>), kidney, or pinto, soaked, liquid reserved
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 3 ears)
1 garlic clove, sliced
3 plum tomatoes, cut lengthwise into eighths
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
8 romaine lettuce leaves
3 ounces smoked cheese, such as Gouda or cheddar, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Place beans, soaking liquid, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot. Liquid should cover by 2 inches; adjust as necessary. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain, and transfer to a bowl. (Makes 5 cups beans.)
Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, and add corn. Cook, stirring occasionally, until corn begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until corn is browned and begins to pop, 3 to 4 minutes. Add to beans. Wipe skillet, return to medium-high heat, and add 1 teaspoon oil. Add tomatoes, in a single layer, and thyme. Cook, turning occasionally, until soft and beginning to char, 6 to 7 minutes.
Coarsely chop tomatoes, and add to beans. Whisk vinegar, red-pepper flakes, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons oil in a small bowl. Pour over beans, stirring gently. Spoon over lettuce, and top with cheese.