Sunday, February 13, 2011

Suzee's White Bean Puree

I was reading facebook entries, and since I "like" Food and Wine, I saw the entry about "What's for dinner tonight" referencing baked chicken, roasted brussel sprouts and white bean puree. It reminds me of my own 30 minute meal entry, as I cook the meat and veg this way frequently. So what I honed in on was the white bean puree.

I recently started cooking with cannellini beans. They are smooth, and delicate, and delicious. What drew me into this recipe as well was the use of dried rosemary. Every time I use dried rosemary, I'm never pleased. The flavor is flat, the needles are hard, and I find it interrupts my enjoyment of whatever I'm making. So, you think, why would you want to make this recipe? The method used to freshen the rosemary - you simmer the needles in olive oil for 3 minutes prior to mixing into the beans. Hmmm...maybe that could work.


That doesn't mean this recipe is a failure. Just that I'd recommend minced fresh rosemary instead. Rick really liked it, and it is really nice hot, warm or room temp, so a great appetizer or snick snack with raw or roasted veggies, or crackers.

Here is my version:

1 T fresh minced rosemary
1 T fresh minced thyme
4 or 5 fat garlic cloves, minced
2T olive oil

In a saucepan on low heat, combine  these ingredients, and let simmer for 5 minutes.

2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 C white wine
1/2 C water
1/4 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground pepper

Add these ingredients to the saucepan, and start mashing with a potato masher to create a smooth combined dip. If your beans are resistant, feel free to pull out your food processor or mini food chopper to make your puree. Also a stick blender would work.

Once the mixture is hot, and smooth, move to a serving dish, and pour a tablespoon or so of the most flavorful finishing olive oil you own. It is quite amazing how the fruitiest of olive oils makes such a difference in this dish.

I had some long thin organic carrots I roasted peeled but whole, and they were just fabulous dippers for this nutritious dish. I recommend trying the roasted carrots as your dipper  - they too are great hot, warm or room temp, so it would be a great finger food dish to serve with cocktails.