the appetizer:

Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More than 75 Recipes by Mark Bittman, includes recipes like Layered Salad; Big Beans with Skordalia; and Savory Vegetable and Grain Torta.



Big Beans with Skordalia

Makes: 8 servings
Time: 15 minutes, with precooked beans

Gigantes and other big beans—lima, edamame, fava, and whatever else you can get—make great finger food. Fresh beans are preferable, but hard to find (so when you do, grab them). Homecooked dried beans are also fine. Whichever you use, cook them only until just tender, with skins intact.

Serve the beans with toothpicks for spearing and dipping in skordalia, an eggless mayonnaise substitute from Greece. This version is emulsified with bread and nuts, and works beautifully with any crudité (see page 220 of the book), though I find the beans a nice match with the nutty sauce. To make this recipe an integrated dish, simply toss the beans with the sauce.

  • 4 cups cooked large beans (page 139 of the book)
  • 1 thick slice day-old whole grain bread
  • About 1 cup vegetable stock (page 150) or water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup pine nuts, walnuts, blanched almonds, or hazelnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Put the bread in a bowl and saturate it with the liquid. Wait a couple minutes, squeeze most of the moisture out of the bread into the bowl, then put it in a food processor with the oil, nuts, garlic, and cayenne. Process the mixture until smooth; then, with the machine running, pour in enough of the remaining liquid to form a creamy sauce.

2. Add the lemon juice and some salt and pepper and serve immediately as a dipping sauce for the beans or other vegetables. Stored in an airtight container and refrigerated, the sauce will keep for up to 2 days.

  • from:
    Food Matters
    A Guide to Conscious Eating with More than 75 Recipes
  • by Mark Bittman
  • Simon & Schuster 2008
  • Hardcover; $25.00
  • ISBN-10: 1416575642
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-7564-1
  • Reprinted by permission.

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