Mastiha-Seared Sausages over Garlicky White Bean Purée
Main Ingredients 6 portions
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus ½ - 2/3 cup for the purée
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 cups Greek giant beans or butter beans, soaked overnight
1 large bay leaf
3-4 sprigs fresh oregano
1 wide strip orange zest
1 whole head of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh, strained juice of 1-2 lemons to taste
11 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 pound (½ kilo) fresh Greek or Italian Sausage or fresh Chorizo, cut into serving size rounds
¼ cup Mastiha liqueur
Fresh oregano sprigs for garnish
ΣIn a wide, shallow pot over medium flame, heat the oil and sauté the onion until wilted. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute, stirring. Add the beans and toss to coat in the oil. Pour in enough water or light stock to cover the beans by 2 inches (5 cm). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, add the bay leaf, oregano sprigs and orange zest, and simmer on low heat for about 2 hours, or until the beans are very tender. Add more water or stock as needed.
While the beans simmer, light the oven to 350˚F (180˚C), wrap the garlic head in tin foil and roast for about 1 hour on the middle rack. Remove and set aside.
Drain the beans in a fine-mesh sieve, saving about two cups of their liquid. Remove and discard the herbs.
Place the beans, salt and pepper to taste, and the roasted garlic, removed from its skin, in a food processor. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil and half the lemon juice until a smooth, velvety purée forms. Adjust the texture either with additional olive oil or with a little of the beans’ boiling liquid. Adjust the flavor with additional lemon juice or salt. Set the bean purée aside.
Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium flame and sauté the sausage pieces until almost done. Remove skillet from direct heat and carefully pour in the liqueur. It might flame up, so keep your face and hands at a distance. Place back on the stove top and cook until the alcohol boils off and the sausages are cooked. Remove and serve over the bean purée. Garnish with fresh oregano.