Last Saturday night, Joe and I met up with a group of our friends for dinner at Anthony David’s in Hoboken, New Jersey. Upon sitting, our server presented the table with a basket of crusty bread and a small vessel loaded with the most marvelous white bean spread. Not only was the spread delicious, it was addicting. We kept going back for more and unabashedly requesting a fresh replenishment course after course. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I would have been completely satisfied for the night feasting on those two things only (and of course my glass of red wine). However, I still went on to enjoy another sensational meal of grilled octopus, Chilean sea bass, and bourbon glazed doughnuts [drooling on my keyboard right now] at one of Hoboken’s finest establishments…
As I kept going back for another taste of the dip, I became determined to crack the code on this spread: Cannelini beans or chickpeas. Cannelini. A hint of herbs… Yes, rosemary. Garlic… Always! Good olive oil… check. Salt? Obviously! I was fairly sure I had this recipe figured out, so I made some table-side notes in my phone and decided to give it my best shot this week. After tinkering with the measurements, pureeing, and taste-testing along the way, I was pretty confident I nailed it or at least got pretty darn close. I recommend serving this guiltless spread with pita chips, crostini, or even veggies if you want to keep it super-light. During a time of holiday decadence and overindulgent fare, you need not feel guilty luxuriating in this bean dip. It’s composed of whole ingredients that are good for you, so put it out at your next gathering, dig in, and enjoy.
Rosemary White Bean Dip
1 can rinsed and drained cannelini beans
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic (skin on)
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup + 2Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap garlic in a loose foil pouch and roast until soft, about 30 minutes. Peel garlic and put in food processor along with beans, rosemary, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. Pulse to combine. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil and process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and serve with pita chips, veggies, or crostini.
Enjoy and let me know what you think!
A few notes:
- I roast the garlic in my toaster oven. No need to heat up a large oven for a little bit of garlic.
- I highly recommend using fresh rosemary. Dried might work, but I doubt the results will be as pleasing. If you try it, let me know how it works out.
- I hate to sound like my girl, Ina Garten, because she always says things like this, but please use “good” olive oil. “Good” olive oil will be the difference between a flop and a success, especially in a recipe like this where it’s one of the main ingredients. It will add loads of flavor and bring depth to this dip. Now, by “good” olive oil, I mean extra virgin and ideally cold-pressed. If it’s golden yellow or yellow-green, you’re probably working with a nice bottle. I use Filippo Berio Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.