We all know beans are a great source of protein, fiber, iron, magnesium and many other nutrients. But did you know that, according to the Mayo Clinic, beans are packed with phytonutrients that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer? That’s pretty remarkable.
My recent trip to Napa was full of cooking and exploring an array of ways to use beans. We discussed how cooking with beans is more than just opening a can, heating them up and serving them as a side. Beans are an ingredient to be used creatively in sauces, salads, dips and as thickeners to name a few.
Soon after starting this blog I started a series called “The Bodacious Bean” highlighting a variety of bean recipes. And with inspiration from all the great people I cooked with in Napa (and a little creativity of my own), I can’t wait to continue to add to “The Bodacious Bean” recipe file. I’d love to hear any ideas you have utilizing the bean too.
The first recipe I want to share is for a salad dressing. We cooked many recipes and shared endless ideas but this caesar salad dressing, using bean puree instead of eggs, really surprised me. The flavor and texture offer a pretty good match for the original. Plus it’s healthier.
By no means am I saying it’s better than the original but it is a good option for those with egg allergies, or others who can’t eat raw eggs for one reason or another.
The ingredients are basic: white beans, olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, pepper, anchovy paste, garlic, and water to thin if needed.
In a blender add all ingredients, except the water and blend until smooth.
Toss with some chopped romaine hearts and serve. Yum. Yum. Yum.
That’s it. So simple.
I’d love to hear about any favorite bean recipes you may have. Are you a classic chili bean lover? Is there a tasty bean dip you can’t pass up? Please share – can’t wait to see hear from you!
Adapted from Joyce Goldstein; 2010 Worlds of Healthy Flavor Conference.
- 1 cup of white bean puree (canned beans & bean liquid pureed in food processor or blender)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (juice of about 1 lemon)
- 1/4 cup parmesan, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons anchovy paste (adjust to taste)
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced (about 2 large cloves)
- 1/4 cup water (as needed)
- In a blender combine bean puree, olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, pepper, anchovy paste, and garlic until blended and smooth.
- If needed, add water to thin to desired consistency.
- Refrigerate until used.
(Even though I have an ongoing relationship with Bush’s Beans, they did not compensate me for this post.)