Although everyone is complaining about global warming and the loss of our true Dutch winters (if ever we had them), winter is far from over. We are stuck with a chilly, overcast, misty haze and a temperature of around 5 degrees Celcius, which chills you to the bone. The only thing I would like to eat are spicy chicken variations or comfort food, like mashed potatoes or so. A bean mash is also nice: it is hearty, healthy and feels good for you.
Prepare one by mashing up the contents of one large tin of white butter beans with a fried onion. Add pepper, salt and a huge amount of butter for that true mash-feeling. WIth it I made fresh wild spinach, sauteed and then chopped and sauteed again with butter and a little cream. For a nice colorful touch to this meal, I made red charred peppers in a 200C hot oven. Leave for 15 mins or until blackened; leave in a tight plastic bag to cool (15mins), then the skins come off easily. Put on a plate and pour on some olive oil.
First I thought I wanted home made pesto to go with the bean mash, but since I felt too lazy to go to the store again for basil, I decided I could do without, and opted for walnut sauce. For the sauce, you need: 100 grams of (peeled) walnuts, 50 grams of pine nuts, a clove of garlic, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons of yoghurt and olive oil. Soak the walnuts in hot water, then peel off the brown skins. This is quite a chore, but it relaxes me. Put on some music and enjoy the zen-like state preparing food can give you… When done, mash them with mortar and pestle together with a clove of garlic, the pine nuts until you have a thick paste. Add the yoghurt, then pour on olive oil to combine. It will be quite thick, taste for salt.
Strangely enough, the walnut paste tasted the nicest with the chopped and sauteed spinach, but it was also good with the beans and the red peppers. One almost forgot there was no meat in this whole meal: I grilled some slices of haloumi cheese for extra bite.<br clear="all" /
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