The WA Bar exam is over so I’m back to blogging with a vengeance. Studying in those last days leading up to the exam kept me busy and tired, but not too busy to avoid cooking for the most part. Over the next week, I’ll be catching up on some entries with an added disclaimer that a week or more has gone by since we ate this, so my memory may not be accurate as to the quantity of ingredients or what order I did things.
First up: Flatbread with Rosemary White Bean Dip (or Spread, as used here) and Sauteed Curly Endive. The curly endive was a surprise in the CSA box that week. It was a light green, tangled mess– not at all like the smooth, white spears that I picture endive to look like. The CSA newsletter suggested a white bean soup as a way to use this, but I already had a soup going on my table that week so I thought this might make for a great side to go with it. I liked the idea of pairing the crunch and slightly bitter vegetable with the creaminess of cannellini beans though, so used the tip from the CSA as inspiration.
I decided to take a white bean dip that I occasionally make for parties and spread it on some flatbread, then top it off with the curly endive. The dip has rosemary and lemon zest/lemon juice in it so I thought I’d play off of that woodsy taste of the rosemary with some thyme in my sautee. Thyme tastes both woodsy and lemony, so I thought it’d tie together all the flavors nicely. A healthy squeeze of lemon juice would help wilt the vegetables and brighten them up at the same time. An added bonus: getting to use my food processor which is probably my favorite kitchen possession, well, that and my favorite Santoku knife. Added bonus: I had an excuse to get a nerdy kick groaning “BEEEEEEAAAAANNNNS!” while the ingredients for the spread whirled together!
1 package prepared garlic naan
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained
1 head curly endive (I rough chopped this to preserve the stems, but it would have been easier to eat this had it been more finely chopped.)
1 lemon, zested, juice divided
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 large clove fresh garlic, minced (yielded about 1 tbsp)
2 small cloves regular garlic, chopped into halves
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tbsp
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small pot, add the 1/4 olive oil and the 2 small, halved cloves of garlic and let simmer over low heat. You’re looking for the cloves to turn golden and to infuse the oil, not burn so stir them around so they cook evenly– about 10-15 minutes. In a food processor or blender, add the drained beans, infused oil with the cloves, rosemary leaves, lemon zest, and juice from one half of the lemon. Blend until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Put the naan or other flat bread in the oven to crisp up, then heat the remaining tbsp of olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Sautee the minced garlic until cooked, about a minute. Add the endive and stir occasionally until wilted, about 5 minutes. Squeeze the juice from the other lemon half over the greens, add the thyme leaves, salt and pepper and let continue to cook over low heat, while the bread cools for a few minutes. Spread the white bean mix over the flat breads then top with some of the sauteed endive.
CSA Count: 2
fresh garlic, curly endive