Any serious cook should try to keep an herb garden. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can keep a small one in a pot on the counter. The types of herbs will depend on what kind of cooking you’re interested in – if you like Thai food, for example, you’d want to grow fresh cilantro, whereas a cook who prefers Italian might grow a lot of basil. The fresh herbs I typically have on hand include: sage, Italian parsley, thyme, rosemary, basil and oregano. I love being able to snip off a bit of herb as I need it. It’s the ultimate fresh, local ingredient.
Here is a recipe I developed that is quick to put together. The dip’s flavour will get stronger over time so if you make it in advance, taste it and adjust seasonings before serving.
White Bean Dip with Fresh Herbs
Makes approximately 1-1/4 cups of dip
- One 14 oz. can (398 ml) cannelini beans (aka white kidney beans) OR 1-1/4 cups cooked cannelini beans
- 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon very finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon very finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon very finely chopped fresh sage leaf (approximately 2 medium leaves)
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- Salt, to taste
- Pita or flatbreads for serving
- Place rinsed and drained beans in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil and lemon juice.
- Using a potato masher, mash beans until they are completely mashed and relatively smooth. Do not use a food processor as it results in a dip that is grainy and lacks creaminess.
- Mix in chopped herbs, garlic and add salt to taste. Dip can be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. Serve with flatbread or grilled pita wedges.
Bon Appetit and Enjoy!