The theme for week 4 was beans, and I struggled a little with this one! I'm pretty fussy with the type of beans that I like: I can't stand whole, squishy beans in dishes like baked beans, chilli, etc. I also don't like broad beans. However, I adore fresh, whole green climbing beans.
I planned to make a recipe from a Jamie Oliver cookbook, which was a green bean salad. These plans were foiled when the 3 shops I went to didn't have any beans - quite surprising, considering they are in season right now! Out of desperation, I grabbed a can of butter beans and hoped I could find a nice recipe. The can itself had a decent sounding recipe for a dip that sounded similar to hummous, so I was hopeful.
Stephanie Alexander came through with the goods, found in the cooking bible - The Cook's Companion. The recipe is for a white bean purée, using dried cannellini or haricot beans. I adapted it slightly to suit the tinned beans, and my resulting recipe is below.
1 tin butter beans (I used La Gina brand)
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup hot chicken stock (I used a single stock cube, and so extra salt was not required. If you use real stock, taste-test to see if you need to add more salt)
Juice of half a lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
Drain and rinse the beans.
Place in a food processor with the tomato paste and water, and purée the mixture well.
Sauté the garlic and rosemary in a little oil.
Add purée, stock and lemon juice and mix well over medium heat.
Continue cooking and stirring regularly until the purée thickens.
Season with pepper (and salt if required).
I was quite prepared not to like this, but it's actually very tasty and moreish! It's really cheap to make - basically just the cost of the tin of beans, and has a really genuine flavour, much better than supermarket dips.
It's quite garlic-y, so use less if you are sensitive to garlic.
Stephanie recommends this recipe as a sourdough topping or alongside grilled quail or vegetables. I had some alongside my simple dinner pictured to the right - a chicken schnitzel, grilled asparagus and tomatoes, and fresh avocado, snow pea shoots and mushroom. It was fantastic, and complimented the dish surprisingly well!
Next week's theme: Greek