White Bean and Rosemary Spread with Slices of Sourdough Bread

White Bean and Rosemary Spread with Slices of Sourdough Bread

2 (16-ounce) cans cannellini or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, chopped (1 teaspoon)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus sprigs for garnish

If you can work a can opener, you can make a true appetizer that will leave your guests lunging for the dinner table. Cannellini beans seem to come in a variety of can sizes. And in some parts of the country, not at all. Not to worry. Use navy beans or Great Northerns. You're looking for white beans in a can that weighs roughly 1 pound. Use what you can find and go forth. Measurements are not critical here.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Refrigeration time: 30 minutes to 2 days
Makes 3 cups to serve 10 to 12

A definite do-ahead. Find 10 minutes somewhere in your busy schedule and whip this together as much as 2 days in advance.

Combine all the ingredients except salt, hot sauce, bread, and garnish in the food processor bowl fitted with the steel blade. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds, then season to taste with salt and hot sauce. Transfer to a bowl or jar and refrigerate until 20 minutes before serving time.

To serve, place the bean spread in a bowl and garnish it with parsley sprigs. Set the bowl on a platter and surround it with the bread chunks. Let your guests serve themselves.

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Excerpted from 50 BEST MASHED POTATOES by Sarah Reynolds Copyright© 1997 by Sarah Reynolds. Excerpted by permission of Broadway, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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