Cilantro-Scented Navy Bean Mash, Smoked Fish

Cilantro-Scented Navy Bean Mash
Smoked Salmon Rosette

Cook navy beans in chicken stock with smashed garlic cloves. Add cilantro sprigs for the last half hour of cooking. Let cool. Remove the sprigs and garlic.

Mash the beans with a potato masher, add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Fold in crème fraîche and rough chopped cilantro leaves.

The Navy Bean is a mild-tasting, smaller-sized dense white bean that got its name from being a staple food for the US Navy, as they do not spoil and provide excellent nutrition.

Courtney of Chicago's Coco Cooks blog is hosting this month's My Legume Love Affair, a wildly successful event created by Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook. April is its tenth incarnation, and one of which I am excited to participate in once again. Next month's host will be yours truly, Taste With The Eyes.

Courtney's challenge was to create a starter or dessert with legumes. For this party, I am serving a starter of cilantro-scented navy bean mash on spoons topped with a rosette of smoked salmon or a morsel of smoked trout.

My friends Heather and Abbi, stopped by during the creative stage. I served them the cilantro-scented navy bean dip with toast points brushed with olive oil. Cooking the beans with garlic cloves, stock, and cilantro imparts a wonderful depth of flavor to the beans. My vegetarian friends would love this too, just use a rich vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.

Another post, another thank you to my brother. This one, to my brother Don. You see, he waited in a not-so-short line last December to get an autographed cookbook by Charlie Trotter. Those of you who have been following Taste With The Eyes may recall that my birthday gift from Don & Kristy last year was Guest Chef For The Day in Charlie Trotter's kitchen. I am a big fan of Charlie, and this cookbook, Home Cooking with Charlie Trotter, is a favorite; with casual recipes for the home chef, focusing on crisp flavors and straight-forward presentations. That's where the idea for cilantro-scented navy beans came from! 

Next up for MLLA 11, Three Bean and Potato Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette, inspired by Charlie, too.  Bean aficionados, won't you please join us in May and share your favorite legume recipe?