Friday, June 17, 2011

Garlic White Beans

Have you ever eaten something that was so incredibly simple, and yet so very tasty and addictive?
Well, this is one of those dishes.

I was having dinner at Supper in the East Village a couple of weeks ago, and instead of butter or even a bowl of olive oil for dipping, the bread basket came with this delicious pile of garlicky, slightly spicy white beans, slightly drenched in olive oil and speckled with parsley.
It was delicious, and I decided immediately that I had to recreate it at home for both snacking and entertaining purposes.

I started by sautéing 4-5 cloves of grated garlic on medium-low heat in regular olive oil with a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes. (Go with your comfort level of heat. I like things with only a slight warmth in the back of the throat so I probably only use about 2 pinches. If you like spicy, this dish can take it.)
Cook for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant and slightly golden.

Drain and rinse two cans of white beans.
You can use whatever beans you prefer: cannellini, northern beans, navy beans... as long as they are a mild white bean, it should be fine.

I place them in the pan with the garlic and red pepper flakes and add a splash of water to help cook and soften the beans for another 3-4 minutes.
(I don't like too much bite in my beans. If you prefer a firm texture, skip this step.)

Wash some fresh parsley and finely chop it, about 1/3-1/2 a cup as you prefer.

I went with about 1/3 of a cup.
Add to the pot of beans, salt to taste, and stir to combine.

Off the heat, finish the beans with a few glugs of good fruity olive oil.
Optional: a spritz of lemon right before serving perks up the dish as well.

This is delicious on its own, or on toasted ciabatta for crostini for a dinner or party. 
You could also purée this before adding the parsley (but with the good olive oil) and use it as a dip.
It's very versatile, very healthy (packed with protein and fiber and only good fat!) and VERY addictive.
It also goes brilliantly with prosecco!

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