White Bean Spread Recipe
I started making this White Bean Spread recipe three years ago and haven’t looked back. I could eat it with a spoon, on a house, with a mouse. You name it. It is so crazy delicious. If you aren’t a big fan of hummus, you might prefer this variation. It has most of the same ingredients, simply swapping white beans for garbanzo beans and omitting tahini (sesame seed paste), which is a pretty strong flavor. Plus it’s gluten-free and dairy-free! I’ve slightly simplified the original recipe from Heidi Swanson, who is one of my all-time favorite vegetarian food bloggers and cookbook authors. This recipe is light and healthy, perfect for a snack, appetizer, or sandwich spread. I guess it’s technically a dip, but it is a bit thicker. Swanson calls it a spread, the “consistency of thick frosting,” so I’m going to stick with that. It goes great with chips, crackers, or vegetables. Or you could just cut a thick slice of No-Knead Bread and cover it with a generous layer of this creamy bean goodness. Cut, spread, eat, and repeat until your children discover your secret hiding place. And don’t tell me you’ve never sneaked a cutting board into your closet before. Please.
The original recipe calls for creating a rosemary-garlic infused oil, where you heat chopped rosemary and minced garlic in olive oil until it is hot and fragrant. Then you strain out and discard the rosemary and garlic, while keeping the flavors in the oil. It takes all of 5 minutes and is not difficult at all. I like the stronger garlic flavor and don’t necessarily care for rosemary, so I just heat and leave the minced garlic in the oil. It gives it a pleasantly strong garlic flavor. Feel free to go either route. Whatever you do, just make this recipe. Whether or not you hide in the closet to eat it in blissful peace and quiet is totally up to you.
White Bean Spread
Adapted from Super Natural Every Day (Amazon) Yields about 2 cups
1/4 c. olive oil 1 t. chopped fresh rosemary (optional) 1 clove garlic, minced 2 c. cooked white beans, rinsed & drained (use canned or cook your own dried beans) 3/4 c. sliced almonds 1/2 t. salt 1 T. fresh lemon juice 1/4-1/2 c. hot water grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil, rosemary (if using), and garlic. Over medium-low heat, slowly warm the mixture until the garlic is slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. (If you want a subtler flavor, pour the oil through a strainer and discard the garlic & rosemary, leaving you with an garlic-rosemary infused oil.)
- In a food processor, combine the beans, 1/2 c. almonds, salt, lemon juice, and most of the garlic-rosemary oil. Pulse until the ingredients come together. Add hot water, 1/4 cup at a time until the mixture has the “consistency of thick frosting.” Taste and season with more lemon juice or salt, if needed.
- Scoop the spread into a serving dish, sprinkle it with the lemon zest and remaining 1/4 cup of sliced almonds, and drizzle with the remaining oil.
Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen by Heidi Swanson (Amazon)
Is it overly dramatic to love a cookbook? Well, if it’s wrong then I don’t want to be right. I love everything about Heidi Swanson’s vegetarian cookbooks featuring whole, natural ingredients. Her recipes are fabulously tested and written but always easy to adapt. Heidi Swanson’s cookbooks are often open on my kitchen counter, with plenty of stains to prove it.
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