Rosemary Cannellini Dip

Rosemary Cannellini Dip
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bean dip
Dig in!

On Tuesday, we made up the first of our crackers, and today, we’ll make up a dip as part of our contribution to chip-and-dip season. This Rosemary Cannellini Dip also comes from Crackers & Dips: More than 50 Handmade Snacks, by Ivy Manning, and, since it starts with dried beans, it’s perfect for scratchers like us.

When we read through this recipe, we figured it would be like hummus, or even black bean hummus, but without that strong garlic flavor that is often prevalent in hummus-like dips. Instead, with the flavors of rosemary and sage, it should bring forth the tastes of autumn, especially that of Thanksgiving Day stuffing. We really like stuffing, so anything that reminds us that big batches of stuffing are forthcoming is all right in our book.

Makes about 3 cups.

Rosemary Cannellini Dip

Rosemary Cannellini Dip


  • 1 1/4 cup dried cannellini beans
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbs dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Abbreviated Instructions

In a large saucepan, cover beans with water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse. Return to saucepan.

Add enough cold water to cover beans by an inch. Add onion, carrot, sage, bay leaf, and garlic.

Place beans over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat.

Add rosemary and 1/2 tsp salt. Let stand 15 minutes.

Reserve 1 cup broth, then drain beans. Remove and discard bay leaf.

Place beans in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, adding reserved liquid as necessary.

Taste and add salt and pepper to adjust seasoning. Pulse to mix.

Transfer to a serving dish, and refrigerate at least several hours so flavors meld.

Drizzle olive oil over dip before serving.

Ingredient discussion:

Beans. If you don’t have Cannellini beans, don’t sweat it; just use another white or light-colored beans. We used Mayocoba beans, but Great Northern would work, or Navy. Or, if you don’t have a white bean available, scratch it up with a bean you do have. It’ll work. Everything else here is pretty much standard, but we would recommend using fresh rosemary if you have it, and, as the olive oil is an accent, find one with some flavor to it.

Procedure in detail:

Soak beans. Soaking beans overnight does two things, both of which we consider good. First, it makes them cook faster and more evenly the next day, and, second, it can reduce the gaseous effects of eating beans. So, before going to bed, put the beans in a large (3 quart) saucepan, add enough water to cover the beans by several inches, then cover the pan, and sleep tight.

Rinse and drain. The next morning, when you wake up, drain the beans and give them a good rinse. Some people will save the soaking water, with the idea that it has flavor in it. We don’t. It’s just not worth it. Return the beans to the saucepan.

cooking beans
Cook pretty much everything along with the beans. It’ll get blended together later, so they need to be mushy.

Add water & more. Add enough cold water so the beans are covered by about an inch of water. Then add onion, carrot, sage, bay leaf, and garlic.

Cook. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the beans, and cook until tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

steeping rosemary
Add the rosemary and salt, stir, and let steep. Think of making tea, rosemary bean tea.

Add rosemary. Stir in the rosemary and 1/2 tsp salt and let those steep for 15 minutes so the beans can absorb a bit of flavor.

reserving liquid
We didn’t need anywhere near a cup of liquid, but it’s better to have too much and discard a bit later, than to have too little when you need it.
Drain the beans and let them cool for a few minutes.
Drain the beans and let them cool for a few minutes.

Reserve liquid. Once the beans are tender, scoop out about a cup of liquid, then drain the beans completely. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Let the beans drain and cool about 15 minutes. If you’re using fresh rosemary, strip the leaves and discard the stem.

Scrape beans, carrots, onions, rosemary, everything really, into a food processor.

Process. Transfer beans to the bowl of a food processor, put the cover on, and give them the biggest whirl of their lives. Process until you have a smooth paste, adding some reserved liquid, if necessary.

adding salt and pepper
Once you have the dip to the right consistency, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Taste and season. Give the dip a little taste, then add salt and pepper as needed, pulsing to combine between additions.

bean dip
Just drizzle with olive oil and dig in!

Meld. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to meld.

Serve. Before serving, drizzle the dip with olive oil, then dig in with cracker or chips.

We happen to like bean dips, so this was really a no-brainer for us. It was nice to avoid the super garlicky-ness of hummus or the spicy heat of a more standard bean dip (each has its place; it’s just that there’s always room for more), so this was a nice change of pace. Upon tasting, we think that next time we might crank up the amount of sage (maybe go with 3/4 tsp), since that seems to get washed out with the boiling. Or we might add it with the rosemary, avoiding the boiling of those two spices altogether. We think this is a dip we’ll make again: it’s easy, and it’s tasty. Four stars.

Worth the trouble?

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