Sage roasted butter beans and greens with raisins and pine nuts

roasted butterbeans and greens with raisins and pine nuts

roasted butterbeans and greens with raisins and pine nuts

It was a night under the stars! That’s what the school dance was called, and, funnily enough, as we walked home I’d never seen the stars so bright and clear over our tinsy little metropolis. The stars were cool and distant, after the hot clamor of the dance, but they seemed to be dancing, too. The boys went in different shifts. First the little ones, racing around the transformed all-purpose room (cafeteria tables pushed out of the way, gym mats rolled up, starry black balloons floating everywhere.) Isaac and his friends wiggled through the dancing crowd like small minnows against the current. (How do they all know dance moves when they’re so young?) The older kids stood around in little groups, full of joyful secret drama. Malcolm looked dapper as hell in his suit. But we weren’t allowed to stay and watch the second shift, so I can only report that when Malcolm and I walked home, looking for orion and the big dipper, he had a cool happy glow about him, like the moonlight.

And the music? We had the Harlem Shake twice, of course, and gangnam style and that heyo gallileo song, and lord knows what else. They all sound a bit alike, they’re musically repetitive and lyrically uninspired, and yet they’re irresistible! I’m such a sucker for this kind of music. Roller rink music, prom music, school dance music. So for this week’s Sunday interactive playlist, we’re going to collect songs we remember from dances and roller rinks, or any public youthful dancing occasion. I’m excited about this one! I think we can make quite a collection of happy songs from different eras and different parts of the world. But I need help, because I was super backwards and shy as a child, and didn’t go to many school dances.

sage roasted butter beans and spinach with raisins and pine nuts

sage roasted butter beans and spinach with raisins and pine nuts

I’m excited about this meal, as well. As I’ve said a million times, greens with raisins and pine nuts, simply seasoned with garlic and maybe a little rosemary, is one of my all time favorite flavors. Here I added a little egg to make it comforting and substantial. You can use any greens you like. I used broccoli rabe and spinach, but you could add kale or chard, if you like. And the butter beans! I coated them in a little olive oil and roasted them with sage. Simple, but they turned out delicious. Cripsy, tender, meaty. We ate this with some herbed pearled couscous, and I made croquettes out of the leftovers with the addition of some bread crumbs, eggs and cheese – formed into patties and roasted on an olive-oil coated tray. Also very delicious! I’d show you a picture, but it got lost on my camera somewhere, and disappeared.

So here’s the playlist. I’ll make it collaborative, so feel free to add what you’d like.

And here’s a scene from Freaks and Geeks. I love the impossibly long walk to the dance floor, and the way the song kicks in when they get there. “If somebody making you go to a dance is the worst thing in your life, I’d say you have a pretty good life.”


1 can butter beans, rinsed and well-drained
1 T (++) olive oil
1 t sage
salt and plenty of pepper

Preheat the oven to 425. In a small roasting pan, combine the beans, sage and olive oil. You want enough to coat, but you don’t want to drench the beans. Roast until the beans are crispy and golden, 20 – 30 minutes. Season with salt and plenty of pepper.


12 oz. greens – spinach, chard, broccoli rabe, or a combination
1 T olive oil
1 plump clove garlic, minced
1 t red pepper flakes
1 t rosemary, chopped
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 egg, beaten
1 T butter
1 t balsamic vinegar
salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper

Wash the greens, and remove any tough stems. Roughly chop. If you’re using a tougher green, like kale or broccoli rabe, boil it in salted water for about 15 minutes, then drain.

Process the greens in a food processor for less than a minute, or finely chop by hand. You don’t want a puree, you want a bit of substance.

Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, rosemary and pepper flakes. Stir and fry until the garlic starts to brown. Add the raisins and pine nuts. Stir and fry until the pine nuts start to turn golden.

Add the greens, stir to combine everything, and cook until the greens are cooked through, wilted but bright. Add the egg, stirring the whole time, and cook for a minute or two. Add the butter and vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and serve.


1 thought on “Sage roasted butter beans and greens with raisins and pine nuts

  1. Pingback: Roller rink music | The 'Spill

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