Small Plates

Garlic and Rosemary White Bean Dip

MAKES about 1¼ cups (FAST) (VEG):  Canned cannellini beans make a creamy and savory base
for our sun-dried tomato and feta white bean dip.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS White beans are a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, contributing a buttery, creamy quality to soups and salads from Turkey to Tuscany. Their mildly nutty flavor and smooth texture seemed perfectly suited for a hummus-like dip. Our first attempts produced a thick, chunky spread loaded with flavor but lacking the silky-smooth texture we wanted. We tried adding different amounts of water to the dip, soon discovering that 2 tablespoons created just the right consistency. Adding a generous pour of olive oil and processing all of the beans at once helped achieve a rich dip with a sublimely smooth texture, perfect for anything from toasted bread to sliced vegetables. With our dip’s groundwork in place, we boosted its flavor with a squeeze of lemon, woodsy rosemary, garlic, and just a pinch of cayenne for some heat. A 30 minute rest before serving let the dip’s flavors deepen, and a final drizzle of oil added welcome richness. Serve with Olive Oil–Sea Salt Pita Chips, slices of toasted baguette, or raw vegetables.

  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  1. Process beans, 3 tablespoons oil, water, lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, ¼
    teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cayenne in food processor until smooth, about 45 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  2. Transfer to serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit at room
    temperature until flavors meld, about 30 minutes. (Dip can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours; if necessary, loosen dip with 1 tablespoon warm water before serving.) Season with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil before serving.
VARIATIONS

Caper and Tarragon White Bean Dip -FAST -VEG

Omit salt, substitute 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon for rosemary, and add 3 tablespoons rinsed capers to food processor with beans.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Feta White Bean Dip -FAST -VEG

Increase water to ¼ cup, substitute minced fresh oregano for rosemary, an reduce salt to ⅛ teaspoon. Add ½ cup crumbled feta cheese and ¼ cup oilpacked sun-dried tomatoes to food processor with beans.

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