There are times when you feel that your life is on fast forward. Weeks slip by and boom! before you know it a month has past and you are left stunned as to where all the days have gone. This is just how I feel at the moment. Yesterday I was shocked (and happy!) when I was cycling through Hyde Park to see that daffodils are now out. I’m sorry – when did Spring appear!?
And when I’m this busy I tend to find that something has to slip and often I find myself getting lazy in the kitchen and slipping back into my old routine of cooking standard quick, easy but ultimately rather boring dishes for dinner. Not necessarily because these meals save me time – I mean cooking a spaghetti bolognese will take the same amount as time to prepare, if not more, as say this more unusual Spaghetti dish with prawns and rocket – but more because the mental capacity to think to do something different is simply too great and I end up grabbing the first familiar ingredients when I dash through the supermarket on my way back from wherever I’ve been.
But this is no excuse. There are so many meals that are simple to prepare but don’t sacrifice on any flavour and enable me to keep experimenting when time isn’t on my side. And this dish is a prime example of this. Straight out of a can these butterbeans are heated through and then mashed with lemon, thyme, and garlic and in a matter of ten minutes they can appear on my plate faster than any mashed potato could.
When mashing butterbeans treat them just like you would mashed potato in the sense of adding flavours. I haven’t tried it but I bet they would taste great with some grainy mustard running through it, or adding some rosemary into the dish instead of the thyme, as well as throwing in some cheese like parmesan at the end. I’d also like to try using this as a topping for a fishermans or cottage pie next time I make one.
THYME BUTTERBEAN MASH
40 ml olive oil (plus 2 teaspoons)
2 clove(s) garlic, crushed
Handful of thyme, chopped
1 lemon, zest & juice
2 cans of butterbeans
1 pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
SERVES: 2-3 people
COOKING TIME: 10 minutes
Put the 40ml of olive oil in a saucepan, and mix in the garlic. Add the thyme and the lemon zest and warm through.
- Drain the beans and rinse under a tap to get rid of the excess starch and then add to the pan and warm through, stirring and squishing with a spoon until you have a similar consistency as lumpy mashed potato. You can also blitz them in a food processor if you prefer a smoother texture. Season to taste and serve.