Best Butter Beans
June 17, 2011

Voluptuous, healthy, easy, vegetarian and special. Entertaining special, even. The white beans get so creamy and a touch decadent with the butter. Really, what could be better? Oh hush, you can’t put bacon in everything.

A wee bit of chutney right in the dish imparts a certain something too: a vague, exotic sweetness, a slightly floral quality that makes diners squint up their eyes a bit and tilt their heads – “m mm, what is that?” It’s a little bit amusing to let them guess for a while.

I use tinned beans for the convenience and spontaneity. Do as you do.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp curry, paste or powder (or more, if you’d like)
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 tsp butter
1 tbsp chutney, any kind you like (I happened to have the classic Major Grey at hand)
2 540 ml (19oz) tins butter, canellini or other white beans
A little squeeze of lemon juice
Chopped cashews (optional)

Heat the olive oil on medium heat and sautee the onion, carrot and celery until soft. Add the garlic and continue on, stirring, until everything’s really, really soft. Add the turmeric, curry and tomato paste and let it ‘cook out’, as the TV chefs put it, for another coupla minutes.

Now simply add the butter and the beans and the chutney and stir it all about until the butter has melted and coated everything and it’s all hot. If you feel your beans need a bit of loosening up give them a shot of veggie stock or water.

Just to brighten it up a little I squeeze a little lemon juice at the last stir before serving. And because I love my Mamma, I even chopped up some cashews for texture and flair. I know, fancy pants, I.

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