White Bean, Garlic & Rosemary Dip


Make ahead appetizers are a host’s best friend. This easy & delicious dip is ideal for winter entertaining. It not only can be made ahead, it begs be made a day or two in advance – to really give the flavours time to come together.

If you’re inclined, start with dried beans – soaking them overnight and then cooking, before beginning with the recipe. Otherwise proceed with canned, draining and rinsing them well before using.

  

Remember that most beans are a blank slate – much like chicken. They will happily absorb any flavours that you add, so you can customize to your heart’s desire. More garlic? A bit of your fave ‘heat’ to liven things up…? What am I always saying about making things yourself….

#1. You KNOW what you’re putting in.
#2. NO preservatives – face it, do you really want to eat things that you can’t pronounce??
#3. TASTE. Ahhhhh. ‘Nuff said.

If you happen to have roasted garlic on hand, by all means use it. It’s mellow sweetness would certainly work here. Serve in a small earthenware type bowl with some crackers, bread or veggies like carrot sticks, on the side. In fact… having this dip in the fridge with some cut veg, makes for easy snacking.

To take it uptown and perfect for entertaining… toast up some crostini, mound the dip on, drizzle with olive oil and a grating of fresh Parmigiano.

I keep thinking how wonderful this would be as a soup, so have added that to my ‘to-make’ list. When I do attempt it, I will start with dried beans – the flavour profile has just so much more depth. As an added bonus, a bag of protein rich dried beans (most any variety) costs just a few buck$. How’s that for added motivation. They last indefinitely in your cupboard, ready for when inspiration strikes you.

Hmmm… now I’m thinking a veggie burger recipe as well… stay tuned!!

White Bean, Garlic & Rosemary Dip

This keeps so well in the fridge, making a double batch would not be amiss – perfect for post-holiday eating/snacking/feeling virtuous just for having it!! Be sure to use fresh rosemary, as the dried would not give the same result.

Ingredients:
1 can cannellini beans
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh minced rosemary
1/2 lemon, squeezed for the juice
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Preparation:
Drain and rinse the beans in a colander.
In a medium sized sauté pan add the olive oil, garlic and rosemary, put on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (You want to infuse the oil with the flavours, which works well by heating them up together – and prevents the garlic from browning).
Turn off the heat and add the drained beans, lemon juice, salt & pepper.
Mash by hand, taking it as far as you want; I recommend leaving some texture, and not making it totally smooth. (If it seems a little dry when mashing, add a bit of water, rather than adding more oil).
Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary – adding more, salt, pepper or lemon juice.
Transfer mixture to non-plastic container, cover and put in fridge; bring to room temp before serving.