Monday, December 3, 2012


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.


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.


Anonymous said...

I agree, Lexi! They taste great right out of the pan. I ate some just like that, pureed most of the rest, and used the final bit left over to top the pureed dish :) Thanks for a great recipe pick. This is something I'll make again and the variations are endless.

Margie Larrazabal said...

i was tempted to just eat them without mashing too! hahaha!

Lexi said...

Thanks Aura! Next time I'm going to puree them.

Meg @ said...

Hey, at least you took the time to put them in a bowl, even if you didn't mash them... I probably would have just eaten them right out of the pan, standing over the stove. I always catch myself lingering a bit too long over the "taste and adjust spices" stage as I stand in the kitchen.

Erin @ The Goodness Life said...

I really should have gotten some fresh herbs at the market, but the rainy and cold scared me away. I'll keep this on my "to make" list, as I do love beans!

Lexi said...

Meg...I had to take a picture of them :)

Lexi said...

Erin, the herbs were awesome. I'm lucky to have all the herbs growing in my garden (except cilantro...gave up).