Do any of you remember the cheesy pesto white bean mash I made last year? I’ve pretty much been dreaming about it ever since – it’s smooth and creamy, and just as comforting as any mashed potato you could hope for, but has the added bonus of being super high in protein. And it really is only an added bonus – I don’t only make white bean mash because I fancy some protein, I make it because it’s flipping delicious.
Anyway, after craving it for several days last week, I thought I’d reincarnate it as a full meal, rather than just as a side dish. The mash itself is less cheesy than the original version, and I didn’t stir through the pesto – but I did drizzle it on top instead, along with some juicy griddled veggies. I also finished it all with a little sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
And I’m only just realising how much of a rehash this recipe is of the previous one…
Oh well, who’s complaining?
It’s pretty easy to make too. I’m lucky enough to have two food processors, a big one that used to belong to my Grandma (I swear it’s older than I am, but still works perfectly… unlike my creaky knees), and also a little mini one that I use for small batches of breadcrumbs, curry paste, etc. So I whizzed up the white bean mash in one food processor, and the homemade pesto in the other.
However, I am aware that not everyone has a kitchen that’s quite as overstocked as mine is (if anyone has a little bit of counter space going spare that would be great, thanks!) – so if you only have one food processor, you have a few options.
You could make one of the elements in advance, so it’s there ready for you to use (make an extra big batch of pesto and it’ll be there for dinners all week!).
You could use shop-bought pesto and cut out one job altogether.
Or, you could stop being so lazy, and just do some washing up (don’t recommend this one).
However you decide to work things out, it’ll all turn out delicious.
Stack it up, make it look all pretty… and then dig in.
White bean mash with griddled vegetables and pesto
For the white bean mash:
- 400 g tin cannellini beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- Small handful grated vegetarian parmesan-style cheese
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled
- Black pepper
For the griddled vegetables:
- 1/2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 small aubergine (eggplant), sliced
- 1/2 courgette (zucchini), sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, cut into chunks
For the homemade pesto:
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled
- Large handful fresh basil
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- Small chunk of vegetarian parmesan-style cheese
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- To make the white bean mash, add the drained cannellini beans to a food processor along with the grated parmesan, clove of garlic, and plenty of salt and pepper. Blitz thoroughly until smooth.
- Rub the vegetables lightly with oil, and place in a griddle pan (or frying pan, if you don't have a griddle pan) over a fairly high heat. Allow them to cook for several minutes before flipping each piece over, repeating with the other side. The vegetables should have dark char lines.
- To make the homemade pesto, add all of the pesto ingredients to a mini food processor, and blitz well until smooth.
- Before serving, heat the white bean mash in the microwave. Serve it topped with the griddled vegetables and drizzled with the homemade pesto.
Note: nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.