White Bean Puree with Sage Brown Butter and Walnuts

By • January 2, 2012 • 0 Comments


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Author Notes: A rich and smooth sage-scented bean puree, made even richer with the addition of sage brown butter. The walnuts add textural contrast and a mellow counterpoint to the puree. Read more at http://threecleversisters.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/white-bean-puree-with-sage-brown-butter-and-walnuts/sarabclever

Serves 6

White Bean Puree

  • 1 cup dried white beans (cannelini, great northern)
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade, can substitute vegetable broth if vegetarian)
  • 1 sprig sage (about 6-8 leaves)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • brown butter sauce (below)

Sage Brown Butter

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 sprig sage (about 6-8 leaves)
  1. Soak the beans overnight or at least for several hours if you can. (If you forget to soak, cover the beans with water and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to stand for an hour before proceeding with the recipe).
  2. Drain the beans and put them into a pot with the celery, carrot, garlic, and one sprig of sage. Add the broth and about 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook gently for about 2 hours. (Because you are going to puree this, you want the beans to be very soft). When the beans start to soften, season with salt and pepper. Add additional water (or stock) if the mixture starts to dry out.
  3. When the beans are very soft, fish out the carrot, celery, and sage. Drain the beans but reserve the liquid–you’ll need to add this liquid as you puree to get it to the desired consistency. Puree in the food processor until creamy, adding liquid as necessary–I used probably a half a cup. Reheat the puree very gently (I used a microwave) and remove to a serving bowl.
  4. While the beans are cooking, toast the walnuts: break up with your fingers or chop, then put in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Toast, stirring frequently until the nuts brown and become more aromatic–be careful not to burn them, it can happen quickly. Remove immediately from the pan.
  5. To make the brown butter sauce, pluck the leaves of sage from the second sprig. Melt the butter over medium heat (I used the same small skillet I used for the walnuts). After the butter has melted, keep heating it–it will start to bubble and sizzle furiously, and then start to recede. You’ll see brown solids begin to fall and collect at the bottom of the skillet while the butter turns caramel in color. Around this time you’ll catch the butter’s nutty aroma rising from the skillet. Add the sage leaves, stir, and remove to a bowl.
  6. Make a well in the center of the puree, drizzle in the brown butter sauce, and sprinkle the toasted walnuts on top.

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