This week I'm hosting The Food Matters Project. I chose Mark Bittman's recipe for Pureed White Beans with Tons of Herbs. I thought this would be a great recipe for our group because as Mark suggests, you can puree it for a smooth texture or just mash the beans for a lumpier texture. He suggests turning it into a dip or as a base for chicken or fish. The possibilities are endless. I just served them right from the pan because they were so good. I used parsley, cilantro, and mint for my mild herbs and oregano and tarragon for my stronger herbs. I was curious as to how all these different herbs would taste when mixed together and it was a pleasant surprise.
For the other members creative takes on this recipe click here.
PUREED WHITE BEANS WITH TONS OF FRESH HERBS
by Mark Bittman
This puree has a stunning green color from all of the fresh herbs and is the perfect dip-warm, cold, or at room temperature-for toasted bread or crudites. Or serve it as a main dish under bits of crumbled bacon, sausage, or prosciutto, or a small piece of simply cooked chicken or fish.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for garnish
1 leek, white part and some of the green, trimmed, well rinsed, and chopped; or 1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped mixed mild herbs, like parsley, cilantro, mint, basil, or chervil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, tarragon, or thyme
3 cups cooked or canned cannellini, navy, or other white beans, drained, liquid reserved
About 1 cup bean-cooking liquid, stock (for homemade, see pages 135 to 140), or water, or more as needed
Salt and black pepper
Put the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped herbs and cook a minute or 2 more.
If you want the mixture super-smooth, transfer it -along with the beans-to a blender, food processor, or food mill and process, adding as much liquid as you need to make a smooth but not watery puree. If you want a lumpier texture, mash the beans right in the pan with a fork or potato masher, adding liquid slowly to get them as soupy as you like.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper; taste and add more if necessary. Heat and serve immediately or keep warm over low heat for up to an hour or so. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil if you like.