We adore white cannellini beans — a mild, creamy-soft source of delicious, low-fat protein. They pair nicely with lemon and any green leaf. This dish works in its chunky form — or you can chop the greens finely and mash the beans as they cook, for a smoother spread. A super quick turn with the immersion blender does the job.
- Olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- One large leek (white and light green parts) or small onion, well rinsed and finely chopped
- One pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups chopped spinach or arugula
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- One lemon
- Toasted baguette slices
- Heat two tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, leek (onion) and pepper flakes. Cook onions until very soft (about 5 minutes).
- Add beans, one cup water, ½ teaspoon salt and some freshly ground pepper. If using greens that are more substantial than spinach, add to the pan. Stir and cook until beans are soft and have developed a creamy consistency (about 5-10 minutes). Mash with a wooden spoon, or purée partially with an immersion blender. You want a mixture of puréed beans with some whole beans and large bits and pieces — the ratio of smooth to chunky is up to you. Add spinach or arugula and stir with the pan on the heat until greens are wilted.
- Zest the lemon. Cut in half and juice. Add one tablespoon of juice and the zest to the pan. Stir. Add more salt or pepper as needed.
- Spread over toasted bread and serve.