Mashed White Beans with Roasted Garlic

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

    as a side dish

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

This is an interesting alternative to mashed potatoes that is perfect with roasted meats, birds, and grilled vegetables. Use a white or cream-colored bean that has a soft creamy consistency, such as flageolet, gigande, cannellini, or navy.


  • 2 medium heads of garlic Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cupscooked white beans (save the liquid)
  • tablespoonsfinely chopped fresh parsley, mint, or basil leaves, or a combination
  • ½ cupor so freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut off the top quarter of two whole heads of garlic to expose each clove and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Wrap the heads in foil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes or so, until the garlic is completely soft. Unwrap the garlic for the last 5 minutes to allow it to brown and caramelize a bit. (You can also do this in the toaster oven.) Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse-puree the beans, adding enough of their cooking liquid to make the consistency resemble mashed potatoes. They shouldn’t be completely smooth. (Like potatoes, they become gluey and starchy if overprocessed.) Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan large enough to hold the bean puree and squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin into the pan. Sauté the garlic briefly, then add the bean puree and warm it through. Stir in the herbs. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.