We love our dips and spreads, as you know, and this recipe from Ottolenghi slots nicely into our collection. It’s a dish you need to begin the day before, to allow the mushrooms to pickle and the beans to soak. (You can use canned beans though, should you prefer. Use about 500g canned beans).
It is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More, and makes a great lazy afternoon snack or a mezze dish.
The dish uses miso in the pickling liquid – this is usually easily available these days. Even supermarkets stock it – also Asian groceries, health food shops and Japanese groceries. Ottolenghi says to use a brown miso, one of his usual omissions in specifying precisely which miso to use. There are dozens of types of miso. For this dish I recommend a light- medium brown miso rather than a dark brown one.
Browse all of our Mushroom dishes and our Dips and Spreads. The recipes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer collection of recipes.
Cannellini Bean Puree with Pickled Mushrooms and Pitta Croutons
250g cannellini beans, soaked overnight with 2 tspn bicarb soda
100ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 Tblspn lemon juice
3 Tblspn sunflower oil
2 pitta breads, or other flatbread, torn into 3cm pieces (120g)
1 Tblspn chopped parsley, to garnish
sea salt and white pepper
2 Tblspn caster sugar
160ml cider vinegar
1 Tblspn brown miso
80g button mushrooms, washed, dried and cut into 5mm slices
0.5 medium red onion, very thinly sliced into rings (60g)
0.5 tspn black peppercorns
0.5 tspn red peppercorns
0.5 tspn allspice berries (pimento)
3 bay leaves
Prepare the pickle a day before serving. Place the sugar, vinegar, miso and 180ml water in a medium saucepan with one 1 tspn salt. Bring to the boil, and then pour into a heatproof, non-reactive bowl containing the mushrooms, onion, both types of peppercorn, allspice and bay leaves. Leave to cool, cover and refrigerate overnight. Take out of the fridge at least an hour before serving.
The next day, drain and rinse the beans, and put them in a large saucepan and cover with plenty of water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 – 60 mins until completely soft. Top up water as needed, and skim the top of scum if necessary. Drain and keep some of the cooking liquid.
Transfer the beans to a food processor, along with the tahini, 4 Tblspn of the olive oil, the garlic, lemon juice, 0.75 tspn salt and 0.5 tspn white pepper. Blitz well until a very smooth paste has formed and set aside. Once ready to serve, add a little cooking liquid if you need to get a soft and fluffy consistency (like a runny mash).
Pour the remaining 40ml of olive oil and the sunflower oil into a frying pan and place on a high heat. When hot, add the pitta and fry for about 3 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time until golden and crisp all over. (You can also toast them on a sandwich press, although not as crispy fried as Ottolenghi’s method.) Transfer to a colander lined with kitchen paper sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
When ready to serve, spread the puree out on a large platter. Spoon over the mushrooms and onions along with a few Tblspn of the pickling liquid and a tspn or two of the aromatics. Dot with some of the toasted pita, sprinkle over the parsley and serve at once with the remaining toasted pita.