The last time I made white bean dip was about two years ago. I don’t remember that recipe – I just remember that for some reason, it was horrible. Me and Jon couldn’t eat the stuff. And of course, I’d made a ton of it. So this huge bowl of white bean tapenade sat in our fridge for way too long until I finally tossed the whole thing. We still laugh about how awful that dip was, though neither of us remembers why we didn’t like it.
Recently me and Jon have been really into snacking on chips and dip, and I thought I would make another, better, batch of white bean dip. I bought fresh Great Northern beans at our organic market and did a quick soak on them, which is when you have forgotten to soak the beans overnight and want to start the rehydration process quickly. All you do is put the beans in a pot of cold water, bring it up to a boil and then drain them. At that point you can cook them as you normally would had they been soaked.
The sugar snaps, asparagus and radishes at the market have been so vibrant and I thought their crunchy, fresh, bright flavors would go really well with the creamy, richness of the great northern beans. I dressed the asparagus, sugar snaps and radish in a little olive oil with salt and pepper. These crostini were a nice vegetarian snack – still light and summery but also filling.
(Makes 1 quart bean tapenade and many crostini)
For the Beans:
1 lb Great Northern beans
1 large white onion
2 medium carrots
5 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
Bunch of thyme
¾ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
For the Crostini:
Asparagus, blanched and sliced
Sugar snap peas, sliced
- Quick soak beans, or soak overnight.
- Roughly chop carrots and onions. Combine beans, vegetables, garlic and herbs in a pot filled with cold water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until beans are very soft.
- Strain beans and puree with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- While beans are working, set another pot of water to boil for the asparagus. Blanch the asparagus and halve lengthwise.
- Thinly slice sugar snap peas and radishes. Spread the tapenade on the crostini and arrange the asparagus, radish and sugar snaps as desired. Serve warm or cold!