Blitzed haricot beans with roasted garlic, preserved lemon. green olives and parsley

Creamy, nutty, slightly sweet but neutral enough to take whatever goodies you want to throw at them, these roughly blended haricot beans wake up in the presence of finely chopped preserved lemon and green olives, not to mention every clove squeezed from a whole roasted head of garlic. I used beans from a jar, plumper than those from a can but anyway, those would do too.
Whole roasted chillis are great with it or Harissa. 

We ate them with thumb thick asparagus, woody bits cut off, stems peeled with a vegetable peeler, then blanched lying down in a deep frying pan in salted, boiling water for 7 – 8 minutes, till the sharp blade of a knife slides easily through. Tossed in a sharp, mustard dressing, they were perfect with the beans. We also added to the table, a pile of wilted spinach with a few chopped nuts, raisins, cumin seeds, nutmeg - all the things that spinach likes. 
If you don’t have preserved lemon, you can use the zest of 1 lemon and the juice from half of one. You can make this creamier than the method suggests by adding all the oil at once, but I deliberately keep back more than half the olive oil to drizzle over and stir in at the end. 
I happened to have 4 small roasted Roma tomatoes in the fridge from a previous recipe, so I broke them up with a fork and mixed them with half a roasted pepper cut into thin strips. A drizzle of olive oil, a dash of Siracha and a finely chopped clove of garlic turned it all into an easy and delicious salsa that suited perfectly.  

Ingredients

400g haricot beans, liquid drained and set aside for soup
½ a small preserved lemon, chopped small
10 – 12 green olives, pitted and chopped
20g flat leaf parsley, chopped
4 tbs olive oil, divided
1 whole head garlic, roasted for 35 minutes, wrapped in foil
About 1 tbs liquid from preserved lemon
Salt and pepper

To serve


Olive oil
Whole roasted red chillis
Or a spicy, red salsa

Method

Simply tip the drained beans into a food processor, add the olive oil and blitz. 
After 10 - 12 seconds when they are starting to break down, add half the chopped preserved lemon, half the peeled roasted garlic cloves, half the parsley and half the chopped olives and blitz again so there remains a little rough with the smooth and the extra ingredients are all still discernible in the bean puree. 
Fold all the remaining ingredients through.
Loosen slightly with a little liquid from the preserved lemon, if necessary and season with salt – you may need very little because of the lemons and olives – and black pepper. 
Transfer to a bowl, and lightly fold in all the remaining bits and pieces, pouring the remaining olive oil all the way around, whole roasted chillis if using and the spicy salsa by the side.

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