adzuki beans for the first time the other day, with no idea what we would do with them. They look like small red beans and have a flavor partway between a red and a black bean. Anyway, we ended up with about four cups of them, so we decided to eat some of them last night for dinner . . . but how?
We could have thrown them into a soup, paired them with rice and salsa, or used them as part of a salad. But in the spirit of trying new things, we turned to our beloved Mark Bittman's cookbook How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. His recipe for Bean Croquettes caught our eye, partly because he promised it was fast and easy. (We realize that "bean croquettes" sounds like something served in a bad hippie café, but we always trust Mark Bittman.)
Spiked with onion, barbecue sauce, and chipotle, the croquettes tasted great, but Bittman suggested pairing them with a light cilantro pesto. Because he provided the pesto recipe and because we had a bunch of cilantro and because we were still savoring the spirit of adventure, we tried it. It was wonderful—light as promised, with a shot of lime, it provided a tangy contrast that elevated the adzuki croquettes to another level.
Often we buy a bunch of cilantro, use a couple of tablespoons, and lose the rest—it's pretty perishable stuff. This sauce is a good, easy way to use it up and grab yourself some quick, easy flavor while you're at it.
Light Cilantro Pesto
1 bunch cilantro, washed but not stemmed
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 T. peanut oil
1/4 t. salt (you might want more, but start with this)
about 3/4 T. lime juice (again, you might want more)
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor, whir until combined.
This would be excellent on grilled vegetables or fish.