Meatless Mondays: White Bean Nachos

A classic football-watching snack, minus the meat.

Vegetarian Nachos: White Bean Nachos

(Photo: Ian Knauer)

Ian Knauer is a regular contributor to TakePart. He worked for ‘Gourmet’ and is the author of the IACP Award–nominated cookbook ‘The Farm.’

The few weeks between turkey-filled Thanksgiving and turkey-beef-pork-fish-filled Christmas and New Year's are themselves filled with all sorts of merrymaking. Boozy holiday parties and football tailgating abound with everything from shrimp cocktail to burgers, dogs, and ribs. It gets so that even this carnivore needs a meatless moment. But that doesn’t mean the party has to stop.

Downtime usually comes on non–holiday party nights, which is pretty much limited to Monday. And Monday is football night—itself a reason to get together and eat great food.

So this time of year, in my house, there are two great things about Monday nights. They are void of meat but still filled with football. And when watching football, one needs football food. I always keep a quart of cooked beans in the fridge for such an occasion. They are cheap and easy to make and keep, chilled, for a month. Enter vegetarian nachos.

White Bean Vegetarian Nachos

Serves 4

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 cups cooked white beans with some cooking liquid

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tortilla chips

8 ounces mixed shredded cheese

1 cup tomato salsa

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 sliced scallion

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot, then stir in the garlic and cumin and cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden. Stir in the beans with some cooking liquid and cook, mashing with a spoon, until the beans are coarsely pureed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the tortilla chips on a baking sheet or a large heavy skillet, then top evenly with the beans. Spread the cheese evenly over the beans, and bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Top these awesome vegetarian nachos with dollops of salsa, cilantro, and scallion. Serve.

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