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
- 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.
- 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.
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.