Thursday, September 04, 2008

White Bean Puree with Garlic Vinaigrette and Croutes (Page 14)


  • Date: Sunday, August 31, 2008 -- 7pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Dining Companions: Paul K, Beth, Lauren K, Teresa, and Mike M
  • Recipe Rating: B+

My special gentleman and I threw a small dinner party on Sunday before the semester started up this week. I chose this recipe to make because it was the first recipe in The Book that I hadn't made yet -- now I have made the first 22 consecutive recipes! I liked this recipe a lot. I started by soaking and then cooking dried navy beans with thyme until they were very tender. I then put the beans through my food mill and combined them with crumbled slices of white bread, heavy cream, and olive oil. I finished the puree by seasoning it generously. Before serving, the puree was topped with a vinaigrette of blanched garlic, mustard, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. It was accompanied by toasted slices of baguette. This simple appetizer was surprisingly good. Typically bean spreads are tasty, but nothing special. This one, however, was very flavorful. The bean mixture might have been a bit bland if not seasoned properly, but with a generous bit of salt and pepper it was very tasty. The vinaigrette also gave the dish a great punch of flavor. The textural contrast between the toasted baguette and the ultra-smooth puree was also quite nice. There was nothing terribly impressive about this dish, so I might hesitate before serving it to company again, but I would certainly make it for my own enjoyment.

Here is the recipe.

Yesterday was my first day of teaching for the term and the day totally kicked my ass. A wise friend of mine says that the first week of a new regime feels like having the flu. That is totally on point this week. My classes went fine yesterday, but I was unbelievably exhausted at the end of the day. Beyond exhausted. When I got home from work I laid on the floor for more than an hour. I couldn't even motivate to eat dinner. My special gentleman encouraged me to eat something around 9pm, which, when paired with a grape sno cone from our neighborhood ice cream store, got me through the rest of the evening. When I finally finished everything on my to-do list for the day, around midnight, I crashed into bed. I think I fell asleep within 30 seconds of closing my eyes (rather than the usual minute or two). I slept like a rock, and I woke up this morning refreshed.

All that said, both of my classes seemed like good groups of students. It is definitely odd teaching two different version of first semester calculus back-to-back. A student came into my office hours this afternoon and we had the following interchange,
"Hi my name is (insert student name here) and I'm in your calculus class."
"Which one?"
"First semester calculus."
"Which one?"
"Ah, ok, welcome."
Luckily the classes are sufficiently different that I probably won't get confused about what I have said in one class versus the other. Remembering which students are in which class may take a few weeks though...

In the meantime, I think I need some rest!

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