White Bean Spread with Thyme, Lemon, Rosemary & Black Pepper

On a recent trip to NYC, we ate a fancy-schmancy pizza restaurant. You know, the kind that you really shouldn't bring kids to and the end up wondering why they put you at a table where there is a wall of wine bottles that your four-year-old keeps elbowing and knocking over the wobbly ill-placed vessels. In any case, turns out the $25 pizza we had was just good, not great, but the bean dip with crostini that brought to the table before the meal was outstanding. I had been craving it ever since, so I tried to make a less oily version of it for dinner. The restaurant's version was more a flavored olive oil dip with smashed cannellini beans, and I wanted to make it more of a spread for grilled ciabatta bread.

My seven-year-old has been off school for two weeks and is already claiming that she is bored, so I am trying to involve her with household chores. She absolutely loves to be useful! In between the day's frequent rain storms, I sent her outside to pick some sprigs of thyme and rosemary. Being the girl she is, she even diligently plucked the leaves off the stem before giving them to me! I later put her little hands to work smashing the ingredients (her favorite part).

White Bean Spread with Thyme, Lemon, Rosemary, and Crushed Black Pepper Spread Recipe vegan; makes about 1.5 cups

  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup of a very, very good quality olive oil
  • about 2 tsp minced garlic (to taste)
  • 6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme (about 1 TB, leaves only)
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary (about 1/2 TB chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • the zest of one lemon (1/2 for the spread, 1/2 for garnish)
  • lots of crushed black pepper (to taste!)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • dash of white wine (optional, use alcohol-free if you are a teetotaler)

  1. Put all ingredients in a flat-bottom bowl and smash with a potato masher. Mix until creamy (but leave a few larger chunks for texture.
  2. Grill your bread of choice using olive oil.
  3. Spread the bean mixture on finished bread. Dress with extra olive oil, herbs, crushed black pepper and the extra zest. Tip: Would also make a great sandwich spread, topped with grilled veggies and sun dried tomatoes. And oooh! You could even sprinkle the top with roasted pine nuts. Go crazy!

I served the crostini with broccoli rabe stewed with sun-dried tomatoes. Our favorite!

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJuly 11, 2013

    Looks yummmmm
    will have to look up points/calories on it.
    Have you tried mixing up oils? Like little bit of EVOO, peanut, grapeseed?


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