Welcome to You have time for that, a column where Bon Appétits Editor-in-Chief Dawn Davis highlights recipes from our archives that are delicious, accessible, and work every time.
Do I have time for it? If I’m not cooking on a cozy Sunday afternoon, this is the question I ask myself when I think about trying a new recipe to see if it’s good Good Appetite, Epic, a new cookbook or blog. Nothing is as exciting as the moment of discovery, be it a new ingredient, an unexpected combination of flavors or a previously untested technique. At the same time, when I’m breaking new ground, I can’t help but worry that it will be a bust. What if I love it but the family doesn’t and I have to make a second dish? What if it’s a lot of work for little payoff? At some point in my life I may have had the patience to make a few mistakes. But between attending back-to-back meetings and looking for a minute to decompress, all I want is the hits.
Here in this monthly column, I’ll be searching the archives of Epicurious and Bon Appétit to find those meals that pay off more than the hassle, meals that are easy to prepare require little more than what’s in your pantry and you’ll leave enough time to see Bridgerton again, learn a new language, read a novel, or meet friends on social media. Meals that convince you that you have both the bandwidth and the time to try something new. One recommendation per month. Simple, tasty, accessible.
For my first recipe I had to go with one of my favorites –Fried fish with cannellini beans and green olives. You can whip it up quickly, and you should have all but the fish in your pantry (if not, you can get the ingredients most grocery stores don’t have). Getting so much flavor with so little effort is incredibly rewarding.
Some people are intimidated by fish. But I am enchanted by his generosity. It’s a protein that often carries its emotions on its gills. You will know it is done because of its shine and touch. Of course, the recipe will also provide instructions.
With the green olives and red chillies (for eye candy, not really heat) that make up for the whites of the fish and beans, this is insane. It comes together in no time using canned beans, though I love making my own. I soak myself overnight and then toss them into the pot with sautéed onions and the flavors in the fridge – usually fresh rosemary or thyme – salt and a broth from the carcass of the roasted chicken on Sunday. Claire Saffitz, who developed this recipe, says you can use butter beans or chickpeas and any white fish, but I’ll stick with cannellini beans and cod. Throw in some radicchio for added beauty and bitterness. You have time for that.