‘Tis the season to be quick and speedy. With time at a premium, but a high desire to entertain, why not make life easier? That’s what I did when I needed a tasty appetizer in a hurry. I simply reached into my pantry and pulled out a can of cannellini beans. Cannellini beans are also called white kidney beans and like other beans, they are high high in protein and fiber and low in fat. Cannellini beans are popular in Tuscan dishes and other Italian cuisine.
Here’s a bean spread recipe that requires few ingredients and is a hearty appetizer when served with toasted baguette slices or pita chips. During the summer when tomatoes are abundant and flavorful, I gently fold in some fresh diced tomatoes after the mixture has been pulsed in the food processor. This is in addition to the sauteed ones. If the spread needs to be thinned, I add additional olive oil like the recipe states, but I use Meyer lemon infused olive oil for a brighter taste.
Cannellini Bean Spread Recipe
This is an adaptation of a recipe from Chef Kurtis Jantz of Trump International Beach Resort in Miami.
4 ounces olive oil, good quality
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, small, diced
15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed in cold water and drained
1/2 ounce Italian parsley leaves, rough chopped
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper, fresh-ground, to taste
In a medium, tall-sided sauce pot, add olive oil and heat on high until just below the smoking point. Remove from the heat and carefully add minced garlic. As soon as you smell the aromatics of the garlic (you do not want the garlic to get overly brown), add the tomatoes and stir well. Return pot to the stove over medium heat and add cannellini beans. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from stove, and let cool slightly. Fold in parsley. Using blender or food processor, pulse blend just until the beans are broken up but not pureed, leaving some texture. You can add more olive oil to the mixture if you like it thinner. Cool to room temperature and serve.