What’s better than watching the debate? Having girlfriends over to eat, drink, and not watch the debate. Regardless of your political interests (or disinterest), this healthy-ish dip is perfect for any party, no pun intended. Creamy and filling while not being too heavy or ordinary, this is a great option if you are tired of other bean-based dips (hummus included) and want to try something a little different. Served warm, it is also the perfect light bite for a crisp fall evening. Now if only I could pack away some leftovers in my carry-on for this weekend…!
Roasted Fennel & White Bean Dip
For Roasted Fennel:
1 Large or 2 Small Fennel Bulbs, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2-3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic still in papery shell
Salt and Pepper
For the Cannellini Bean Puree:
3/4 cups Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled and minced
2 1/2 cups Cooked Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
1 tablespoon Lemon juice, Freshly squeezed
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the fennel and garlic cloves in the olive oil and spread on a sheet pan. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning twice during cooking. Take out and let cool. When cool squeeze the roasted garlic out of their skins.
Meanwhile, in a small frying pan heat 1/2 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and cook until lightly golden, add rosemary and cannellini beans and cook for one minute more. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Take it off the heat.
In a food processor combine the garlic bean mixture, fennel, roasted garlic, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 olive oil and all but 3 tablespoons of the parmigiano-reggiano. Puree until smooth.
Raise oven temp to 450 degrees. Transfer puree into a small baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Feel free to add more. If your dish is near full, place it on a baking sheet, in case it bubbles over in the oven. Bake until cheese is golden on top, about 15-20 minutes.
Serve with crostini. Enjoy!