Spicy Lemon Oil Beans with Shaved Parmesan

The summer of beans is back

Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’re somehow reading this and aren’t yet subscribed, be sure to do so below. You can expect recipes in your inbox every Tuesday, and paid subscribers get even more!


In case you missed it: Last Thursday for paid subscribers I wrote a piece on How To Start Eating For You Mood.” It goes into the science behind diet and mental health, and it’s a topic I know well. I’ve written about it for numerous publications, and I even spent a year researching it for my senior thesis at NYU!

The piece goes into the current research on diet and mental health includes some actionable tips on what types of food to eat to improve your mood.

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Recipe I’m Loving: Yesterday, we had summer-like weather (I’m talking almost 90 degrees), so we had a pool evening for my brother’s birthday, and I made this Strawberry Basil Lemonade recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking! I used half the sugar, and it was still delicious and refreshing!

Life updates: Ummm… I got engaged! I’m currently writing this newsletter down to the wire because I spent the whole weekend with both our families celebrating! It was such a special weekend. We went hiking in Ojai, got engaged, had lunch and met Jason Segel, and then I came home to even more of a surprise! My brother and his wife had flown in as well as Grant’s parents. I’m so happy!!


Beans are BACK! Last year, I went through a major bean phase during quarantine. I would cook them in my pressure cooker and make all sorts of brothy beans. I’m starting to feel myself creeping back into the habit, especially now that I’m part of the exclusive Rancho Gordo bean club and get a big shipment of dried beans once a quarter (Rancho Gordo is my favorite brand of beans. They are unreal. I highly recccomend them).

This bean dish can be served hot or cold. I used Rancho Gordo Royal Corona beans, but you can use any large bean like Greek Gigante, or if you don’t have access to those, you can absolutely use any type of white bean (canned works too, just drain them).

These beans get their spiciness from the calabrian chili paste/sauce, and they’re made with an infused lemon olive oil that gives it a crispy, summery flavor. The shaved parmesan adds some umami and saltiness, but you can always leave it out to make the dish plant-based — I would just add a little bit of salt.

As always, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@kalememaybe) if you make this dish!

Spicy Lemon Oil Beans with Shaved Parmesan

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 lb cooked Royal Corona beans (Greek Gigante beans or any other white beans work here as well)

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 lemon, peel on and thinly sliced

  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley

  • 1 tbsp chopped basil

  • 2 tbsp calabrian chili paste (bomba calabrese, I used the one from Trader Joe’s)

  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan

1. Add cooked beans to a large bowl (if you want the dish hot, heat the beans. If you want it cold, more like a salad, leave at room temp). Heat up olive oil in a medium pan on medium-low heat. Add the lemon slices, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring the lemon into the oil. Remove from heat once sizzling and fragrant.

2. Add the lemon oil, including the sliced lemon, into the bowl with the beans. Add the parsley, basil, calabrian chili paste, and shaved parmesan. Toss everything together until evenly coated. Taste, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

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