Creamy bean puree recipes

  • Thrifty, creative meals can be made with creamy bean puree.

    Thrifty, creative meals can be made with creamy bean puree. Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick

 
Posted4/16/2019 6:00 AM

Warm Pureed Beans With Olive Oil and Lemony Brussels Sprouts

These warm, creamy beans can stand as a foundation for myriad vegetable preparations, including shredded Brussels sprouts, vinegar-splashed golden beets, and roasted leeks and cauliflower. With toasted crusty bread, they make a meal.

 

Most varieties of beans are delicious prepared this way, although white, tan and yellow beans, and speckled types such as cranberry or pinto, are especially versatile. If you have leftover beans, simply reheat them for another meal.

The beans need to soak overnight. They can be cooked up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated in their cooking liquid. Before pureeing, reheat the beans in their cooking liquid. The puree can be made up to 3 days in advance, as well, with a little of the bean cooking liquid stored separately. Reheat in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally and using a little leftover bean cooking liquid or water to thin to a desired consistency.

For the beans

1½ cups (about 276 grams) dried beans

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt or fine sea salt, plus more as needed

3 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

For the Brussels sprouts

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon cumin seed, lightly crushed

Freshly cracked black pepper

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½ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed

¼ cup water

½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice from 1/2 lemon

½ cup chopped, loosely packed cilantro leaves and stems

8 slices crusty bread, toasted, plus more as needed

For the beans: Soak the beans for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain, then add enough fresh water to cover by two inches. Bring to a boil, boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to a very low boil and cook, partially covered, until the skins have just begun to split. This may take from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the freshness and the type of the beans. Taste a few of the beans: they should be quite soft but not yet falling apart (but if they are, use them anyway). Cook longer if needed, then turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the beans rest for at least 15 minutes before using. (If the beans have been cooked in advance, reheat them in their cooking liquid until hot before pureeing.)

While the beans are cooking, make the Brussels sprouts: Use a sharp knife to thinly slice the Brussels sprouts. Transfer to a bowl, separating the slices into shreds as you go.

Warm 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wide, deep-sided saute pan or a Dutch oven over medium heat until the oil is warm enough to slick the pan. Add the cumin seeds and a few grinds of the black pepper and heat for about 1 minute, just until fragrant. Add the sprouts, salt and the water and cook, stirring, 3 to 5 minutes, just until the sprouts have wilted. Add the lemon zest, juice and cilantro, stirring just until the cilantro has wilted. Turn off the heat. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper, as needed. Cover the pot to prevent the sprouts from drying out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Add the garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beans to the food processor (retaining the cooking liquid in the pot), but don't worry about draining each spoonful thoroughly. Add the salt and the oil; puree until coarsely creamy. Add some of the reserved bean cooking liquid, a tablespoon at a time, and process further for a looser consistency. Taste, and add more salt as needed.

To serve, spread about 2/3 cup of the beans in the center of each plate. Divide the Brussels sprouts over the beans and drizzle with a little more oil.

Serve warm, with toasted bread slices.

Serves 4

From food writer Emily Horton

Roasted Beets and Shredded Mustard Greens.
Roasted Beets and Shredded Mustard Greens. - Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick

Roasted Beets and Shredded Mustard Greens

Serve this on its own, or over Warm Bean Puree With Olive Oil (see related recipe).

1½ pounds small- to medium golden beets, washed, trimmed and dried

½ teaspoon kosher salt or fine sea salt, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Leaves from 4 large mustard greens stems, cut into thin ribbons (chiffonade; 2 packed cups; may substitute arugula)

1 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

Freshly cracked black pepper, plus more as needed

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Wrap each beet in aluminum foil, then put directly on a rack in the center of the oven. Roast the beets for about 45 minutes, or just until they can be pierced with the tip of a paring knife. (Larger beets may require more time.) Remove the beets from the oven using tongs and, carefully, partially open the foil to let the steam escape. Let the beets rest until they are cool enough to handle.

Combine the salt and vinegar in a bowl large enough to hold the beets. While the beets are still warm, remove their foil and peel off the skin (it should come off easily using your thumb, but use a paring knife if necessary.)

Add the beets to the bowl with the seasoned vinegar and toss thoroughly to coat. Marinate for at least 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, divide the beets among individual plates, then follow with the mustard greens. Drizzle each plate with a little olive oil, and season with more salt and/or pepper, as needed.

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

Serves 4

From food writer Emily Horton

Roasted Leeks and Cauliflower.
Roasted Leeks and Cauliflower. - Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick

Roasted Leeks and Cauliflower

Serve this on its own, or over Warm Bean Puree With Olive Oil (see related recipe). Make sure all the vegetables are completely dry before roasting to ensure they crisp and brown.

2 medium leeks (white parts only), trimmed

One medium head cauliflower (about 1 pound), cored and cut into bite-size florets

1 teaspoon brown mustard seed

1 teaspoon caraway seed

1 teaspoon kosher salt or fine sea salt, plus more as needed

Freshly cracked black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Halve the leeks lengthwise, and rinse thoroughly under running water, separating the top layers, to remove any dirt or grit. Slice each half across into ¼-inch thick pieces. Thoroughly dry them and transfer to a large bowl with the cauliflower.

Coarsely crush the mustard, caraway seeds and salt in a mortar and pestle, then add, along with a pinch of black pepper, to the vegetables. Add the oil and toss to coat. Transfer the vegetables to a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is charred in spots and the leeks are well browned. Halfway through roasting, turn the vegetables over using a spatula or tongs.

To serve, drizzle with a little more oil. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper, as needed.

Serves 4

Nutrition | Per serving: 160 calories, 4 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 330 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar

From food writer Emily Horton

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