This feels like the right follow up to the flatbread/dual bean oven shot. This is simply one of the most beautiful things we do at Nopa. I imagine growing old and having a day when I get to share recipes with my grandchildren. Inevitably I will talk their ears off about food, and when I do, the white beans will be part of that discussion. It will be in the context of one of my all time favorite dishes and a lesson on one that is perfectly conceived.
Our beans epitomize honest and delicious food. They are so simple. When the season permits, the beans are shelled and sorted by hand. We get our dry beans from Iacopi Farms, not so far from us, in Half Moon Bay. They are hot and squishy in the middle with a perfect amount of tender resistance on the outside of the bean. The oregano pesto adds a deep savory tone to counter the brightness of the feta and crunchy breadcrumbs. It is a wonderful study in how a simple dish can be elevated to sublimeness. It is equally rustic and luxurious. Gerald obviously subscribed to this duality while drinking the 1967 Oddero Barolo alongside the beans. Yes, beans and 44 year old nebbiolo.
The analogy of a single instrument (ingredient) within an orchestra (dish) is impossible to escape. The baked beans at Nopa are always on the menu and that is a very good thing. If you have never had them, we strongly urge you to come in and make that not the case.