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Graham Elliot sautés onions and garlic in olive oil and saffron before mashing up cannellini beans for his guilt-free holiday side.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 Spanish onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of saffron (about 10 threads)
  • 3 cups cooked cannellini beans
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs fresh oregano


Serves: 6


In a saucepan or a small pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  When hot, sauté the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes, or until translucent.

Remove pan from the heat and add the saffron.  Let it infuse the oil mixture for about 5 minutes.

Add the beans and return the pan to the heat.  Add the broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the broth has reduced by half.

Off the heat, mash the beans with a wooden spoon until nearly smooth.  This can be rustic and lumpy or very smooth, depending on how you like it.  To make it smooth, use a food processor.  Season with salt and pepper.

Served drizzled with oil and topped with the oregano.

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