I was going to start the post by suggesting that this bean purée is a delicious alternative to mashed potato. But I just couldn't do it to my beloved mash. It felt too much like betrayal.
I mean, really, who wants an alternative to mash? There are few sights that will gladden a foodie's heart more than a golden slump of buttery mashed potato on the side of the plate.
But we are coming into spring now and it is just conceivable that we might want something a little zingier to wake up our palates. And here it is. This recipe is as bright eyed and zippy as all those bonny young spring lambs out there. And it just so happens it is the perfect accompaniment to a juicy piece of lamb, as seen above. But it would work equally well with steak or, come to think of it, a nice big chunk of tuna. It's not really a recipe, so much as a bung all the ingredients together and blitz.
Tin of cannellini beans, drained (reserve a couple of tablespoons of the liquid)
2 fat cloves of garlic
Juice of half a lemon
Fresh herbs and seasoning to taste
Serves 2, 3 pro points per person
Wrap the garlic cloves, still in their skins, up in a piece of foil and roast in a hot oven for about half an hour.
Meanwhile put the beans, the reserved liquid, the lemon juice and any fresh herbs into a blitzer. We've done this with both basil and parsley and both worked beautifully. I'd recommend something leafy and green rather than the headier end of the herb spectrum - the aim here is fresh.
Watch the seasoning at this point - remember the bean water will be salted, so don't go overboard on the additional salt. Plenty of black pepper is good though.
Add the garlic and blitz to a coarse paste. Place in a small saucepan to warm through while you cook your meat accompaniment.