You can make this bean butter by mashing the ingredients together with a fork or potato masher, but I prefer the lazy person’s method, which relies on a food processor to do the work. If you gather all of the ingredients together first, it takes perhaps three minutes to make a bean butter.

Rinse tinned white beans (kidney beans work well) and tip them into the food processor. Add some peeled garlic, lime juice, a generous amount of Dijon mustard, and extra virgin olive oil.

Whir, whir, whir.

Stop the food processor and add sea salt, fresh black pepper, onion powder, cumin powder, ancho chile powder, rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley, and paprika.

Whir, whir, whir.

Stop the food processor and check the consistency. If it’s too stiff to spread on bread, add some more extra virgin olive oil. If it’s too thin…you’re going to have to add some more beans, but don’t worry, if you make too much, this stuff freezes well.

Using a spatula, turn the bean butter into a really nice serving bowl (black is nice because it frames the food beautifully).

Okay, so now what do you have to use as a garnish? Sliced black olives, some spears of seeded tomato, fresh parsley, a jalapeno that could be seeded and diced? Whaaa! Any of those or all of them would be fabulous. If you don’t have any of those, just a sprinkle of dried basil, a twist of fresh black pepper and a scattering of coarse Brittany sea salt would do.

Serve with bread for a delicious snack, and the combination of beans and bread will provide a complete protein. You can use any kind of bean, any range of ingredients to make bean butters, but be careful about using red beans because they’re deceptive. They’re red on the outside, but not on the inside, so when you blend them they tend to turn into a rather unappetizing mass of pinkish-brown gack.

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