Mastiha-Seared Sausages over Garlicky White Bean Purée

  • 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

  • 1 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

  1. In a wide, shallow pot over medium flame, heat the oil and sauté&nbsp;the onion until wilted. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute, stirring.&nbsp;Add the beans and toss to coat in the oil. Pour in enough water or&nbsp;light stock to cover the beans by 2 inches (5 cm). Bring to a boil,&nbsp;reduce heat, add the bay leaf, oregano sprigs and orange zest,<br>and simmer on low heat for about 2 hours, or until the beans are&nbsp;very tender. Add more water or stock as needed.

  2. While the beans simmer, light the oven to 350˚F (180˚C), wrap the&nbsp;garlic head in tin foil and roast for about 1 hour on the middle rack.&nbsp;Remove and set aside.

  3. Drain the beans in a fine-mesh sieve, saving about two cups of their&nbsp;liquid. Remove and discard the herbs.

  4. Place the beans, salt and pepper to taste, and the roasted garlic,&nbsp;removed from its skin, in a food processor. With the motor running,&nbsp;drizzle in the olive oil and half the lemon juice until a smooth, velvety&nbsp;purée forms. Adjust the texture either with additional olive oil or&nbsp;with a little of the beans’ boiling liquid. Adjust the flavor with<br>additional lemon juice or salt. Set the bean purée aside.

  5. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium flame and sauté&nbsp;the sausage pieces until almost done. Remove skillet from direct&nbsp;heat and carefully pour in the liqueur. It might flame up, so keep&nbsp;your face and hands at a distance. Place back on the stove top and&nbsp;cook until the alcohol boils off and the sausages are cooked.&nbsp;Remove and serve over the bean purée. Garnish with fresh oregano.