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Thursday, 15 October 2015

White Bean (Cannellini) Spread with Rosemary Garlic Oil

Diner en Blanc is in almost here!!!!  Our preparations are almost complete - and here is a sneak peek at the dip we will be serving for our 'nibbles' whilst we set up our magical white picnic! The magic of this dip/spread is the mild but satisfying flavours that don’t compete with whatever cuisine you might eat later on and it does not ‘overload’ the tastebuds with overpowering flavours. 

I almost insist on serving this dip with celery.  In fact, Wilbur enjoyed it so much he forgot he was even eating celery – never his first choice of green vegetables – and he agreed that the celery was the magic accompaniment – high praise indeed. The fresh, crunchy but subtly juicy bite lifts the white beans and … it’s just perfect together! (ok ... I love celery … is it obvious?).  This is my take on Heidi Swanson’s from “Super Natural Everyday”. 

Enjoy!    and ... "Happy Diner en Blanc" 

Makes approx. 400 -500 gram

Serve with celery – washed, dried, de-stringed and cut into approx. 2 inch narrow batons.
Cover and store in fridge.  I really like the dip to be almost room-temperature and the celery to be cold and crisp to get that crunchy contrast.

Preparation                  10 minutes
Cooking /assembly      20 minutes, including toasting almonds and infusing the Olive Oil

80 ml Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small garlic clove – sliced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves –  the leaves from an approx. 12cm stalk

100 gram flaked almonds – lightly toasted.  Allow to cool.  NB  Retain 1/3rd for garnish

1 x 425 gram (approx.) tin White Beans  (Cannellini) – rinsed and well drained
Sea Salt – ground
1 – 4 tablespoons Lemon Juice  (need to add a little at a time – depends on ‘lemony-ness’)
1 Stalk of Italian Parsley – leaves only – finely chopped – reserve a few specks for garnish
60 – 125 ml HOT water  (usually approx 60 ml but sometimes a dash more – rarely 125ml)
White pepper – to taste
Zest of ½ lemon – NB a little for the dip and a little for garnish

In a small pan warm the Olive Oil with the garlic and rosemary until it just starts to barely sizzle. Remove from heat and allow to infuse for 10 minutes or so.
Strain the oil through a sieve into a jug and discard the used garlic and rosemary.

In a food processor – Pulse  2/3rds  of almonds so they are just starting to look crushed.

Then Pulse again to just combine the added white beans, ½ teaspoon Salt, a little white pepper, parsley, with 1 tablespoon  lemon juice and  2/3rds  of the rosemary Oil.

Add 60ml of the Hot Water and Pulse again – you want a thick, ‘dip’ consistency.
Stir in a teaspoon of the lemon zest.
Taste.  You will probably need to add more pepper, lemon juice and maybe a little more salt.  Taste again until you are happy with the flavour – (seasonal lemons vary in intensity).

If necessary, add a little more water – a tablespoon at a time – to get the desired consistency.

Spoon into your serving dish and make a few very small indentations on top.
Cover and cool in the fridge.

To serve
I think it is best removing dip from fridge about 15-30 minutes prior to serving if possible.

Sprinkle with the remaining almond flakes, lemon zest and parsley specks.
Drizzle with the remaining Rosemary Oil and it will pool in the little hollows.

                                 Enjoy!  Colleen

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