A couple months ago I became simply obsessed with British food – British tea-time in particular. This is due mostly to the occasional bout of watching Nigella Lawson‘s Nigella Kitchen and the weeks-at-a-time reading of Nigel Slater (and NOT due to my trip to Ibiza last year, in which I became loath to all Brits my age). Nigella and Nigel made me want to BE British – mostly Nigel because of the way he describes food in his delightful British-isms, and because he sometimes goes where many food writers dare not. I became smitten with the idea of returning home at 4 pm and immediately having a cozy cup of tea and something to dip in it. Sometimes while reading from Nigel’s book of “Eating for England” I would go out and buy the exact brand of biscuit I had just read about. There are many, many British foods that are unavailable where I am, but interestingly enough, Shaw’s seems to hold a nice selection.
Today’s lunch is inspired by a Nigella Kitchen episode that I saw at least a year and a half ago, but it has been in my head since then, but only actually made three times. It’s a lovely white bean mash. Well, half-mash, and you’ll see why. I haven’t the slightest clue if this is something that even remotely resembles that mash I saw Nigella make, but it is quite delicious anyway.
I start with a little olive oil and minced garlic in a saute pan. When the garlic is good and toasted, I throw in a can of (drained) white northern beans. These beans hang out for a while, and then demand a bit of seasoning. After about 4-5 minutes of stirring occcasionally, I mash half of them (hence the name) with the back of my trusty wooden spoon, add a splash of lemon juice and a handful of chopped parsley, and fold it all together.
The result is is creamy, flavorful, and the garlic is rightly matched with the brightness of the lemon and parsley. Hands down, this has much more textured deliciousness (and nutrition!) to be had than a bowl of mashed potatoes.
Three years ago today: Dinner Party Dessert