Bean dips are so delicious and versatile, and easily enjoyed year round. One of my favorites is my personal white bean dip with spices, which was printed in Gourmet magazine. This one is similar in the use of white beans, but instead of spices, I only use fresh rosemary. So if you like rosemary, you’ll love this dip.
I don’t know if this is as much a dip or a spread, since I typically serve it with a spreader, especially with guests. Whatever you choose to call it, it’s a soft, spreadable purée of rosemary-flavored white beans. It can served in a bowl alongside breads and crackers, as I have, or creatively topped on crostini for a prettier presentation.
And let’s not forget the healthful benefits of beans. It’s wonderful to enjoy a delicious appetizer that’s actually good for us!
Rosemary’d White Bean Dip
2 cans Great Northern Beans, well drained and rinsed
1/4 good extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves*
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place the drained beans in the jar of a food processor. Add the olive oil and the garlic, and puree until the mixture is smooth. I always process the garlic first to ensure there are no pieces of garlic left, then proceed with the recipe.
I remove the germ from my garlic when I’m using it fresh in a recipe like this, and it’s not going to be cooked, like in a stew. Supposedly the germ is bitter. I’ve not tested this theory, but I do remove it when making this dip. I want a delicious fresh garlic flavor – not a flavor that is bitter and overly pungent. This is especially the case when the garlic is trying to sprout and the germs get quite large. I completely avoid them.
Scape down the puréed beans in the jar and process again.
If you’ve picked your rosemary early in the day, simply stick them in water to keep them fresh. I routinely do this even though I’m not sure how much it helps! I figure it can’t hurt.
Then add the rosemary leaves and salt to the beans. If you think that the bean purée could be a little softer, add another tablespoon of olive oil. Pulse just to combine, then add the rosemary and salt. If you’re making it about 3-4 hours before serving, definitely make it on the soft side, because the beans will absorb the oil. But I wouldn’t make it any earlier then 3 or 4 hours.
Place the dip in a serving bowl and serve at room temperature with assorted breads, and/or crackers. Vegetables are good with it, too.
If you make this dip a few hours before serving, keep it at room temperature; don’t refrigerate it. It’s not good refrigerated overnight, either. It just loses the good texture.
* My rosemary this time of year is much less pungent than in the summer, so depending when you make this dip, make sure you taste it. Fresh rosemary can be very strong. But whatever you do, don’t use dried rosemary.
note: You could certainly use garbanzo beans in this recipe, but I prefer white beans for dips. You can see how soft and smooth they are in the photo after they’ve been pureed with the oil and garlic. In my experience, garbanzo beans never get this smooth, which is why I prefer white beans. I’ve heard that if the garbanzos are peeled, they will become smoother, but I’m not about to bother with that extra step.