Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Refried Cannellini Beans with Saffron

Refried Cannellini Beans with Saffron

Nearly all of us have eaten refried pinto beans. But refried cannellini beans are a revelation! And they look beautiful topped with a verdant pool of fresh-pressed olive oil.


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


Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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.

Step 4

Off the heat, mash the beans with a wooden spoon or potato masher 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 and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Serves 6 — Recipe from Cooking Like a Master Chef by Graham Elliot (Atria Books, 2015)