I hope you fared better than I did during the holidays. With the 10+ pounds I gained from all sorts of delicious goodies, I’ve decided it’s time to pay better attention to what I’m eating. Not to worry, dear reader, this isn’t going to turn into a healthy/diet/bland food blog, but I did want to share what I made for dinner tonight: seriously creamy, mouth-wateringly-savory white bean puree.
This is my favorite side dish to eat, and to make. I first prepared it this summer for my family to go with a roast leg of lamb and have tweaked it a few times since. They loved it and so will you.
The trick is layering the flavors. As you’ll remember from last week’s post, I often use one slice of bacon to flavor a large dish. It adds incredible depth of flavor here, plus provides all the fat and sodium. The rest of the ingredients are all vegetables – shallot, carrot, rosemary, cannellini/white kidney beans, and vegetable stock (or chicken if you prefer). The recipe makes about six side dish servings, each containing approximately 130 calories, 2 g total fat, 9 g dietary fiber and 8 g protein (those are the parts of the label I pay attention to at least).
Another thing I love about the white bean puree is its versatility. It has the consistency of mashed potatoes and goes with just as many main courses – everything from the lamb I served with it that first time to the steelhead trout I made tonight (also very healthy, by the way).
Here’s the recipe:
White Bean Puree - makes 6 side dishes
1 slice bacon, diced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup diced carrot
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained
14 ounces (1 can) low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
Set a pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until the fat has rendered (become liquid, like oil) and the bacon pieces are beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes.
Add the shallots and carrots. Cook for 3 minutes then add the rosemary. Continue cooking until the vegetables become soft, about 3 additional minutes. Add the rinsed and drained cannellini beans and pour in just enough broth to cover the beans, about 1 1/2 cups. Increase the heat to medium-high until the broth just comes to a boil, then decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the beans become soft, about 25 minutes.
Puree the beans in a food processor until smooth. Return the puree to the pot and thin with remaining stock if necessary until you reach mashed-potato-like consistency. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and pepper, although you may not need to add any at all. Garnish with fresh minced rosemary.