Side dish Saturdays: White bean mash (2 servings)

Today begins my weekly side dish series, which will continue through December. Remember, if you have a recipe to share, please send me an email!

I saw Nigella Lawson make this recipe on Food Network several years ago, and it's been lounging comfortably in the back of my mind ever since. Last night, I was home alone, and although I'd had a grilled cheese (on pumpernickel -- mmm) around 4:00, I was hungry again by 7:00. I decided to finally try out her recipe, but I changed up some of the proportions. The amount I made should have served two as a side dish, but I ate the whole thing myself. It was unbelievable.

You will need:

  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • small clove of garlic, minced or pressed
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 14.5-oz can of white beans (I used cannellini), drained and rinsed

Steps:

  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium.
  2. Add the garlic and lemon zest and heat through for less than a minute. (You don't want to cook anything; you're really just warming it up.)
  3. Add the beans and stir while you mash them. (Her recipe says to use the back of a wooden spoon, but I had to get out the potato masher.)
  4. Remove from heat once everything is mashed up. It's okay to leave some of the beans chunky. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. (I added a pat of butter before I scooped it into a bowl. I'm sure Nigella would approve of this.)

It's really that easy, and the results are creamy and comforting, especially on a chilly autumn evening. It took less than five minutes to throw together, which is always nice for a side dish! I wish I could tell you if it reheats well, but as I said, I didn't have any left! I'd love to try this with salmon or even as a base under some roasted veggies. If you leave out the butter, this is a vegan dish.