One Herby Ingredient Gives White Beans A Sophisticated Upgrade

With a mildly nutty taste, a plate of white beans is not exactly a stand-out when placed next to heartier, more flavorful dishes on the dining table. Fortunately, that very simplicity is also what makes this legume incredibly adaptable. All it requires is one or two extra ingredients for an instant upgrade to something more exciting. Although not too common, pesto can be an excellent choice, especially if it's a flavor boost with a touch of sophistication you're after.

It's not hard to find pesto in various Italian dishes such as pasta and pizza, working its transformational magic. A mixture of tangy, nutty, and herbaceous notes, anything pesto touches is instantly given a gratifying change like no other. With white beans, rest assured this unique brightness will still shine through. It gives the plain beans a captivating taste that makes every spoonful worth savoring. As a bonus, they also get the sauce's signature green hue, a vibrant exterior to match their new, exciting taste.

In case you need any more convincing, this pairing is also incredibly quick and easy to make. You can use store-bought pesto and canned white beans to put the dish together in a flash, sometimes requiring no cooking whatsoever. With minimal effort and a brief preparation, it's the perfect shortcut to upgrading your meal right away.

It works for more than just one simple dish

If store-bought pesto sauce isn't really your thing, you can easily make it at home. All you need are basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, a lemon, and last but not least, a food processor. The usage amount depends largely on what dish you're making, although anything less than a cup might be a good place to start.

Pesto and white beans make a gorgeous pairing in a wide variety of dishes. Starting with the most fundamental, which is just cooked beans generously coated in pesto. Add a sprinkle of fresh herbs or shredded cheese (or both) and you've got a delightful side dish ready to go. Or, lay it over toasted bread for a quick, easy breakfast, maybe even crostini if it's an appetizer you want. Using a food processor, you can blend this pairing into a creamy, smooth dip or sandwich spread.

Keep the fun going by bringing other ingredients into the mix as well. Upgrade it to a light main course with your pasta of choice. From there on, you can customize the dish by throwing in nuts, peas, leafy greens, etc. As a soup simmering with a hearty broth and other veggies, this pairing is excellent at evoking a soothing comfort for minimal effort. Let's not forget about salads, either. If a white beans pesto salad doesn't sound too appealing, throw in some shrimp, lettuce, and fresh herbs and you might change your mind.