Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Butter Bean Mash

There was an easy recipe in last week's Observer Food Magazine for a tapas plate of giant butter beans which I decided would be good with grilled sausages as a side dish. I didn't have any dried beans so bought some at Waitrose at some wildly inflated price, then put them to soak with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Almost immediately the outer skins puckered, swelled and loosened then floated free like abandoned tshirts in a pool. Next morning I popped each of my fat creamy beans out of the rest of their little jackets leaving me with about 20% less beans than I started with. Then cooking them till tender made them break up into jagged bits. My 'attractive mound of dressed beans' plan was not going to work out, that was obvious.

I decided to go with the general idea but combine it with that classic plating of sausage and mash. I've often made a white bean dip from my battered copy of Sundays at Moosewood and know from dipping my finger in that it is great while it's still warm. So once the beans were cooked I whizzed them up with olive oil and lemon juice, then spiced them with garlic and cumin, added a little paprika then spooned them out just like mash. Perfect. The remains is a great dip with celery - and you can't do that with cold mash.

Butter Bean Mash
250g dried butter beans
1 tspn bicarbonate of soda
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tspn ground cumin
1/2 tspn paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Soak the beans overnight with plenty of cold water and a tspn of bicarb. Next day, drain, rinse thoroughly and discard any loose skins. Put into a large pan and cover with fresh water, bring to the boil then simmer gently for about an hour. Twenty minutes before they are cooked add a tablespoon of salt.
Drain but reserve some of the cooking water. Return the beans to the pan, add the olive oil and lemon juice and garlic and whizz with a blender stick till smooth. (Or put the beans into a blender and blend) Add some of the cooking water if the consistency is thicker than your liking. Stir through cumin and paprika then check and adjust the seasoning.
Serve in big dollops like creamy mash. You'll love it!


Anonymous said...

Excellent Mash. I've just tried itfor the first time. Other sites recommended cooking the beans for only five minutes or so - resulting in a very coarse and chewy mash. This however is the bees knees. Cheers! Nell

bron said...

I love this too - have been thinking only this week it's time for some more!