Friday, December 23, 2011

White Bean Spread with Rosemary and Toasted Almonds

This dip is divine. I first tried it at a jewelry party I did for a friend. I couldn't stop eating it that night!

The rosemary adds a fragrant earthiness to the beans and the almonds add nuttiness and texture. I served mine with reduced fat pita chips. If you need an elegant appetizer to serve at your next cocktail party, this is a winner.

White Bean Spread with Rosemary and Toasted Almonds
Yield: about 2 cups/500ml
Souce: Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups (12oz/340g) cooked white beans, or 1 (15oz/425g) can, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup (70g) sliced almonds, toasted
  • sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 to 3/4 cup (60-180ml) hot water
  • grated zest of 1/2 lemon
In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil, rosemary and garlic. Over medium-low heat, slowly warm the mixture until the oil just barely starts to sizzle, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Pour the oil through a strainer and discard the garlic and rosemary bits.
In a food processor, combine the beans, two-thirds of the almonds, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the lemon juice and two-thirds of the rosemary oil. Pulse a couple of times to bring the ingredients together. Add the water 1/4 cup (60ml) at a time, pulsing all the while, until the mixture is the consistency of thick frosting. You might not need all the water; it really depends on how starchy your beans are and how thick you want your spread to be (I stopped at 1/4 cup). Taste the mixture and add more salt and/or lemon juice to taste.
Scoop the beans into a small serving dish and make a few indentations in the top. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and the remaining almonds and drizzle with the remaining rosemary oil. Serve at room temperature with bread, crackers, crudites, etc.