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Edamame Spread

Edamame is a good thing.  It's one of my favorite parts of going out for sushi.  And, it's one of the few things you can replicate in your own home with much success!

At some point on a grocery shopping trip, I made the mistake of purchasing already shelled edamame.  I vastly prefer it with the shell on, for preparing at home.   So, I have had this random bag of shelled edamame rolling around in my freezer for a long time.  I decided now is the time for figuring out what to do with this unwanted veggie.

This recipe is loosely based on a recipe from Ted Allen's book In My Kitchen.  I really like this cookbook.  It has a great balance of easy and fussy, and everything I've tried so far has come out beautifully.

Ted's recipe called for fresh ricotta, and I didn't have it.  So I opened up the icebox and started dragging things out that needed to be used up.  It's amazing the weird things you can find when you start looking in your icebox.  I found a sad little shallot and half a head of garlic and a lemon half that looked like it was well on it's way to mummification.  I also had a few tablespoonfuls of cream cheese left in a container.  After contemplating the recipe for a while, I put this together....

In a small saucepan, I dumped the bag of unshelled edamame.  I have no idea how much was in the bag.  This is why I would make a horrible recipe writer.  I would suggest using however much you need to make the amount you want.  How's that for vague??

I let the edamame boil for about 5 minutes.  I wanted it to be on the softer side.

In a small skillet, I sautéed the sad little shallot and a clove of garlic in some butter until they were both soft.  I didn't let it go too long because I didn't want the garlic to burn.

I drained the edamame, then put it back in the saucepan.  To the beans I added the shallot/garlic mixture, and the cream cheese, and I zested the pathetic lemon half and put in the juice.  I also salted and peppered it liberally.  The original recipe mixed the ingredients in a food processor, but I wanted something with more texture and rusticness (which I don't think is a word), so I used a potato masher on the whole mess.

I thought it turned out pretty darn delicious.  I put it on a Wasa cracker with some goat cheese.  Heck, I probably should have mixed the goat cheese into the spread.  I could have used it instead of the cream cheese.  And I think you could use whatever kind of bean you wanted.  I could see this with black beans, pintos, even small green peas- or you could go crazy and combine them!

Now I need to break out the book again and choose my next recipe!

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