I don't know about you, but I love the versatility of good quality canned beans. Not all canned beans are alike though, and I also find that I like different brands for for different beans. For garbanzo beans I like Progreso, but for Cannellini beans I like Eden Organic which I buy at Whole Foods. I like them not only because they are organic, but also because the beans are consistently whole, perfectly cooked (not crunchy), and don't have that slimy liquid usually found in canned beans. I wanted a spread bread which would come together quickly and this fit the bill perfectly. I usually make pita bread when I make this for a party, but time did not allow for that today. Soon I will post my pita recipe- it is super easy and fun to make.
I added a variety of herbs to enhance the flavor and lemon juice for a little acidity and to make the flavors pop. I used two 15 oz cans, but only processed 1-1/2 cans in the food processor- I added the reserved beans to the dip once it was ready to give it a little texture and garnish with. When I have roasted garlic on hand, I add a clove or two- roasting the garlic makes it sweet and mellow. The recipe makes 2 cups, it keeps in the refrigerator for at least a week- but I find we usually eat within a day or two- it's quite good.
Cannellini Spread / White Bean Dip
2 15 oz cans white beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt (Fleur de sel)- or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh Rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh Thyme
1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with sliced French baguettes or grilled pita bread.