Canellini Bean Mash

February 23, 2018
Family Verdict:


  • 40 millilitres good olive oil (about 2.5 tbsps plus 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
  • grated zest 1/2 lemon
  • 1 x 400 grams cans of white beans
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  1. Put the olive oil in a saucepan, and mix in the garlic. Add the whole rosemary sprig, if using, and the lemon zest and warm through.
  2. Remove the rosemary, but do not throw away.
  3. Drain the beans and rinse under a tap to get rid of the gloop and then add to the pan and warm through, stirring and squishing with a wide, flat spoon so that the beans go into a nobbly mush. Season to taste; some beans come saltier than others.


This is not really a main, more of a side dish but hey ho. All of the offspring were out - the Eldest at college being veggie for Lent, the Boy was working, the Middle Girl had gone to McD's on the way back from dance and the Youngest had had pasta pesto before heading off to Athletics. Since the arrival of my latest purchase (Sullivan Street Bakery) I have been on a baking and mock-Italian (that American version of Italian) kick. I made some Ossi di Morte biscuits during the day which had gone well, and I was feeling inspired for something more grown-up than the Offspring will eat without demur.

There was chicken breast inthe fridge which I intended to flatten out and then fry in olive oil, seasoned with black pepper and lemon juice. I wanted something with it but not potato based. I remembered that some time ago I had had a bean mash as an accompaniment and that struck a chord.

Mr Google quickly came to the rescue in the (angelic) form of Nigella - a Goddess who I sometimes adore, other times abhor. There was a particularly simple recipe which she promised me would taste fabulous - actually "a garlicky, lemony, ultra-fabulous, utterly addictive bean mash" so who was I to gainsay her. I made it and ate it with my chicken and, Reader, I must confess the Goddess was correct.

I have scaled down her recipe and this quantity is enough for 2 people as a side I think. I had the remainder for lunch the following day on toast (as in the picture) made from a wholemeal sourdough I had made from Sullivan Street...But that is another story,

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