White beans and whinging!

It has come to my attention that I am pretty much addicted to all things sweet.  This is something that I have always known on some level (I am typing this now with fingers still sticky with sweetened condensed milk) but it is becoming more evident.  Recently I realised how often I blog about sweet things and how rarely I write about anything savoury.  I’ve been mulling it over and came to a conclusion or two.  Number one, I make my usual repertoire all the time, those dishes that you don’t need to think about, the ones that you’re slightly bored by, you know the ones, we all make them.  Number two, I very rarely use recipes when I cook savoury dishes, something which always used to frustrate my father.  I remember one particular occasion when I was a teenager, I think I made my creamy leek chicken with sauteed potatoes and he loved it and asked what I put in and my answer was something along the lines of ‘oh, you know, a bit of this and a bit of that.’ 

And so, it is my resolution to get out of my dinner time rut, but I need your help readers, either find me a recipe online or send me a comment with one of your repertoire recipes and I will give it a whirl and report back.  This exercise will not work if all you lazy buggers who read but don’t comment, don’t comment.  In the mean time.  I will cheat slightly by giving you the savoury recipe of a little white bean dip which Mr T whipped up for us both.  Our usual post work snacks consist of buttered popcorn, buttered toast, buttered fence post, well not quite but if something stands still long enough, I will butter it.  And for some strange reason on this particular day I decided that we should be healthy, I bought carrots and celery sticks and I don’t even like celery that much and all the ingredients for Mr T’s dip. 

Mr T is a very good cook but he also likes to whinge about most things kitchen, for example, he hates anything that makes a lot of mess and uses a lot of equipment.  As I have previously mentioned, Mr T does not enjoy his full time role as dishwasher, he prefers it when it’s a part time role with full annual leave and benefits (eg. eating the kitchen’s produce).  So, he was happy to learn that this little recipe was about as complex as chucking a few things in the blender and hitting the start button.  The only long part about this recipe is that you need a whole head of garlic, roasted.  So, if you want to eat this dip in about half an hour, go and put your garlic in the oven now! 

White bean dip

  • 1 tin cannelini beans, drained
  • 1 whole head garlic, roasted and peeled
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a couple of tablespoons of chopped mint (rosemary would work too but maybe use 1 tsp)
  • salt and pepper

Roast your garlic in foil until tender, peel once cool.

Put all of your ingredients in the blender, except the seasoning, blitz and season to taste.  Serve with scarily healthy vegetable batons or it works wonderfully with bread, crackers, full fat crisps…mmm, crisps. 

You can all thank Mr T for this little contribution, but you can also thank him for the lack of photo, as, by the time I came back from looking for my camera, he had already started demolishing the dip!  Boys, huh?! 

Don’t forget to send me your recipes or ideas and if you haven’t subscribed to the blog yet, why not?  Just hit the button and my posts will go straight to your email inbox.  Ok, lecture over.  Go about your business.



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2 responses to “White beans and whinging!

  1. Alex

    Sounds delish! Although, perhaps one to eat in isolation? Post-dip-fest garlic sweats could turn an entire office against me! 🙂

  2. kirstenmcaleese

    Your white bean recipe sounds delicious and quite easy enough to give it a try. I’m going to give you my easy-peasy probably everyone else makes it too pasta sauce recipe. I had to invent it one rainy day a few years ago when it was bucketing with rain so hard I had no intention of setting foot outside my home and had to use what was actually in my kitchen. I hope you try it and like it.
    Here are the ingredients for easy-peasy tomato sauce.

    Serves 2 (I reckon).

    olive or sunflower oil
    1 onion- finely chop
    3 cloves of garlic- finely chop
    4 fresh tomatoes – plum are best but salad tomatoes are fine – slice roughly into quarters or smaller if you prefer.
    tomato puree (paste) – a big squirt
    tin of stoned black olives – halved
    big sprinkling of dried basil
    big sprinkling of dried oregano
    1 tin white beans OR 60g red lentils OR half block of smoked tofu – all for protein.
    360 grammes durum wheat pasta – penne is good for this.

    1) Heat some olive or sunflower oil in a pan, fry onion and garlic in the oil.
    2) Once they turn clear, not brown, add the dried herbs and stir.
    3) Quickly add the olives and stir for about a minute.
    4) Add the tomatoes and stir, add juice from olives as stock if sauce looks as if it’s drying up at all.
    Cover and leave to cook for about 5 minutes while you..
    5) Drain and add white beans to the sauce after the 5 minutes, stir and cover.*
    5) Boil pot of water for the pasta cook the pasta 10-15 minutes to your taste.
    6) Check the tomato sauce, stir, taste and add tomato puree, salt and pepper to make sure it tastes good. Taste it again and check you will have enough sauce for the amount of pasta you are cooking.
    7) Check on the pasta, if not quite ready, remove the pasta sauce from heat and set aside for a few minutes. If it’s ready, remove sauce from heat, drain pasta, once drained add pasta to sauce as you place pan back on the heat and stir.
    8) After 2-4 minutes, check sauce is hot and tastes good, spoon pasta and sauce into bowls and serve with crispy, crunchy bread.

    * For smoked tofu – slice into cubes and stir into sauce at stage 5 – the same time as white beans might be stirred into sauce.
    For lentils, boil until almost cooked then add to sauce, once drained at stage 5 of the recipe.

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