fear not, I’ve eaten beans & garlic

But I’ve come prepared…air freshener

Man, I don’t care how much foulness escapes me (although I’m sure you do) I LOVE my bean dip. It’s made with white cannellini beans and copious amounts of garlic. I enjoy making the bean dip almost as much as I enjoy eating it. The fragrant smell of herbes de provence permeate my little apartment kitchen as the beans simmer away on the stove. I serve it with crackers and julienned vegetables and it makes a perfect light lunch or dinner.

garlic & spices

I should say upfront I’m a fussy eater–I don’t like condiments–no mayo, no mustard, no ranch. I’m not a fan of onions or peppers–so I’m not inclined to eat pre-made dips from the store, I have to make it myself. I love the flavors and foods of the Mediterranean. The color, scent, and flavor of olive oil is a beautiful culinary experience. White beans, also known as cannellini beans, cook up smooth and buttery. This dip is delicious.  It’s so simple, healthy, and frugal–all things that appeal to me of late.

olive oil

My method of cooking has gravitated from strictly following recipes to opening my cupboards and culling inspiration from on-hand ingredients. I created this dip in this informal method. I had a bag of white beans I’d purchased for use in a white chili I made. The beans cooked up so soft and rich, I thought they’d be perfect for a dip. My cooking style is fairly concentrated because I don’t like a lot of different flavors. But I’m fond of taking chances with flavors I do like, which means this dip changes depending upon the ingredients I have on-hand and how the food looks, smells, and tastes to me at the time I’m cooking.

bowl of dry beans

cannellini bean dip
makes about 3 cups

soak 1 lb. of dry cannellini beans in water overnight. make sure the water covers the beans by at least two inches, the beans will absorb some of the water so check it in the morning. I let the beans soak until I’m ready to cook them–which usually happens after noon.

Sort the beans–I remove the skins that have floated to the top as well as the beans that are old or discolored. Rinse the beans well in a colander. Put the beans in a stockpot and cover with water by 2-3 inches. Put the pot on the stove, setting the heat to high. Once the beans start boiling, turn the heat down to medium so the rolling boil calms down to a simmer. This is when I add most of the seasoning–which consists of:

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of freshly ground lemon pepper

1 teaspoon of herbes de provence

6-8 whole cloves of peeled garlic

I cook this without any salt; I read that salt can prevent beans from softening during the cooking process. I cook the beans 2 to 3 hours, keeping a close eye on the beans, stirring occasionally and making sure there’s enough water. As the beans cook they are absorbing the water-I do not cook the beans until dry, I like them to be enrobed in water (a phrase usually used for chocolate, I’ve ruined it…). Once the beans are fully cooked I take them off the heat and add about a Tablespoon of Lawry’s Garlic Salt–which is a beautiful and tasty product. You may need to add more or less depending on your taste. I set the pot on the windowsill and allow the beans to cool to room temperature.

Now it’s time to grind. That sounds dirty, and believe me, it is. You’re gonna get messy. I transfer the beans to my mini-food processor and add about a teaspoon of olive oil to approximately 1 to 1-1/2 cups of beans and process until they’re smooth. I continue repeating this process until all of the beans are ground into a creamy dip. Here’s a picture taken by my ex Joel, he eats this dip with vegan sour cream–he’s vegetarian, almost vegan.

bean dip

I prefer to serve this dip at room temperature, surrounded by veggies & crackers. It smells very good and because I like the slight burn garlic gives my tongue I would caution you prepare your loved ones for your serious garlic breath.

Here’s a printer-friendly (pdf) copy of the recipe: canellini bean dip. Thanks for reading!

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Published in: on July 13, 2009 at 10:00 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. wow, that sounds amazing! i am so lazy, what do you think about using canned beans? I have a couple of cans in the pantry that would love to get used…

    • I think canned beans would work great! I’ve not made this dip with them, but I have taken canned white beans and eaten them with Trader Joe’s bruschetta and some parmesan, which I scooped up with little cocktail toasts–so good!!


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