In the kitchen, I am generally anti-gadget. You just don’t need cupboards full of fiddly tools to make good food. A decent knife, a couple of well-loved pans, and a few wooden spoons and you are in great shape for the kind of food I like to cook.
I really am philosophically anti-gadget, but I should confess that I am also practically anti-gadget. There are definitely some next-level appliances I’d like to get my hands on, but there are quite frankly other ways I prefer to stimulate the economy these days (books, beer, and the like). On top of which, if I acquired any new equipment for my postage stamp-sized kitchen, I’d have to keep it in my bedroom, and – despite scurrilous tabloid rumors to the contrary – I don’t care to share my bed with a KitchenAid stand mixer.
I was delighted, then, when both the cost and space obstacles were overcome by the gift of a small food processor from a friend. I may not have really needed a food processor, but I definitely had some good uses for it: As delicious as my “Chunky Bean and Raw Garlic Salad” had been, it was much better in dip form.
I have really been won over by my miniature food processor (mine is not pink). It’s not much bigger than an average-sized piece of tupperware, is easy to clean, and is just as powerful as a full size mode. (And really, what food are you grinding up that requires serious torque? Peach pits? Bones? Live lobsters?). And even if you can’t persuade somebody to gift you one, they’re not very expensive, especially when compared to their full-size cousins, which can easily cost several hundred dollars.
End product endorsement. Cuisinart, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss payment.
This bean spread is all about the appliance. It’s got only 5 ingredients, 4 of which I always have on hand. And others would chide me for not keeping lemons also, but they can all go suck on one. A lemon that is, not a food processor.
White Bean Spread
1 14-0z. can white beans (cannelini, Great Northern, navy, etc.)
1-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
juice of about 1/4 lemon
1. Combine beans, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and about a tablespoon of olive oil in a food processor or blender. Process or blend as appliance dictates.
2. Taste. Add olive oil to adjust consistency. Adjust salt and lemon juice to taste.
3. Spread on a plate, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve with bread or pita, toasted if you feel like it.