White Bean and Rosemary Dip
This white bean dip was created as an occasional alternative to the beloved hummus. Choose your preferred white bean of choice and adjust the flavors and seasonings to suit your mood. Taking the time to roast the garlic prior to blending makes this dip deep and decadent. It is worth the wait for take this extra step. Pair with toasted baguette, roasted or raw vegetables, a healthy spread for sandwiches, or, if you're me, by itself with a giant serving spoon. This dip is simply marvelous.
2 cans, white navy beans, drained
1 full head of garlic, roasted (see below)
1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary
1/2 lemon, juiced
2-3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
Himalayan sea salt and white pepper, to taste
Toasted pine nuts, as garnish
Preheat oven to 485 degrees. Cut off the top of the head of garlic to reveal the tips of the cloves. Drizzle with a hint of grapeseed oil and sprinkle a bit of chopped rosemary and sea salt. Wrap the heads in tin foil, loosely sealed, and set on a baking sheet or directly on the rack to roast, for at least one hour. Some take longer than others, so I like to go by color. Once the garlic reaches a beautiful shade of caramel on top and the cloves are soft, the roasting process is complete. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until you can easily handle with your hands.
Add the two cans of beans, the chopped rosemary, lemon juice, grapeseed oil, salt, and pepper to your Ninja or food processor. Taking the foil wrapped garlic into your grip, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the vessel with the rest of the ingredients. Make sure you include all of those delicious caramelized parts of the clove as well. Blend until smooth and adjust to taste. Sometimes a little more lemon is necessary, sometimes a little more oil to thin, but be very careful to add additional rosemary. While rosemary is one of my favorite herbs of all time, it is pungent and it is powerful. Too much will ruin any dish. Less is more here.
After I've turned off the oven from roasting the garlic, I like to cut a few wedges of pita and let them crisp ever so slightly on a baking sheet in the warm oven, while I add my final touches to the dip. Again, cut or roasted vegetables also make for a fine presentation. Add some extra sprigs of rosemary and some pine nuts as a final flourish. As with most dips, these flavors develop and deepen the longer they have the chance to marry.
If it even lasts that long.