This past winter, I had a wonderful smoky red bean puree at a restaurant in Brooklyn called Roman's. I asked our server about the ingredients and preparation, but the only information I got was that the smoky flavor came from their wood-burning oven. Knowing that was not a possibility for me at home, I decided to use smoky paprika, hoping it would give that complex, mysterious flavor one doesn't expect from a simple bean puree. I chose the other ingredients based on my memory of the dish, so this may not in fact be like the Roman's recipe at all. Still, we love it and it reminds us of our wonderful dinner. —maryvelasquez
finely diced onion
garlic clove, smashed
chile de arbol, broken in half
sprig fresh thyme
cooked red beans, such as kidney or cranberry/borlotti
kosher salt, to taste
balsamic vinegar, or to taste
smoky paprika, to taste
In This Recipe
In a small saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion, garlic, thyme and chile in the olive oil until the onion becomes translucent.
Add the beans and red wine. Simmer over low heat until most of the liquid evaporates.
Remove the thyme sprig and chile pieces. Transfer the bean mixture to a food processor and puree. Season with salt, balsamic vinegar and paprika.
Serve warm with bread that's fresh or been brushed with olive oil, toasted in the oven, and rubbed with fresh garlic.