Christmas is around the corner and that means you likely have company coming to you (or are heading out). Either way, this is a delicious appetizer that works for most dietary restrictions and is sure to please picky palates. This spread goes well with veggies and crackers, and is pretty simple to whip up. A fabulous alternative to hummus, this spread uses creamy cannellini beans in place of garbanzo beans. The inclusion of carrots adds a subtle sweetness that pairs beautifully with rosemary and thyme. Drizzle with high quality olive oil and you have a classy, different appetizer sure to wow your guests (or hosts).
Note: This time of year, soaking and cooking dried beans might not be feasible, so you can opt to use canned Cannellini beans or even Great Northern beans in this recipe. Freshly cooked beans add something to this recipe, but we’ll look the other way… just this once.
Cannellini Bean Spread with Rosemary
- 1-1/4 cups Cannellini Beans
- 1/2 cup Onion, chopped
- 1 Carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried Sage
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 large Garlic Clove, peeled
- 2-inch fresh Rosemary Sprig
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Soak the cannellini beans overnight in cold water to cover by 2 inches. Drain the beans and rinse them. Put them in a pot with the onion, carrot, sage, bay leaf, garlic clove, and enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 1 to 1-1/2 hours depending on the age of the beans. Add the rosemary sprig to the pot, stir, and set aside for 15 minutes.
Drain the water from the bean mixture, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprig, and discard. Transfer the bean mixture to a food processor and pulse on and off, adding a bit of cooking liquid if necessary, until the beans are mostly smooth. With the machine running, pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into the processor, blend until smooth. Transfer dip to a serving bowl, drizzle with remaining olive oil and serve.