Roasted Garlic and White Bean Dip with Fresh Basil

by feastonthecheap on April 19, 2012

Mariel here. I’m in the midst of moving from the city to the suburbs, so my mom has been spearheading the blog while I sort through my life… But I’m back this week and I’ve got another recipe in the hopper for next week so I won’t be neglecting Feast for too long!

On Easter Sunday, my step-mom and dad graciously hosted me, my husband and my brothers for dinner. Since I co-manage a food blog, I offered to bring a little something, but because my schedule has been somewhat obscene as of late – tax prep, myriad meetings with contractors, electricians, HVAC guys and painters, plus an endless stream of magazine deadlines – I opted for a quick and easy app. What’s easier than White Bean Dip? Healthy, delicious and it practically makes itself.

Ugh, why did I have to mess with a classic…

While I’ve made my own tried-and-true brew many times (as transcribed below), I “stumbled” across a concoction that also incorporated a bit of tomato paste. The author noted that the concentrated toms added a sweet depth to the beans and a pretty rosy hue – perfect for Easter, I thought smugly. Unfortunately, because white beans are so mild, the small amount of tomato paste completely overwhelmed the dip and I found it almost inedible. Despite my proclamations to steer clear of the offending appetizer, my dad and step-mom were kind enough to eat it. But I’m no dummy, it was garbage, which is doubly embarrassing when you allegedly know what you’re doing in the kitchen.

To reboot my own ego, I decided to remake the dip this week and was reminded how simpler is often better. This versatile spread is wonderfully creamy with a bright hint of basil and the warm sweetness of a whole head of roasted garlic. I add a splash of balsamic vinegar for a little acid – and a generous crack of black pepper – and I love to use this as a condiment on sandwiches, though it works just as well with plain old pita chips. The next time I head to dinner with the family, I’ll be sure to bring this rendition rather than the last…

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Roasted Garlic and White Bean Dip with Fresh Basil
Makes about a pint

1 head of garlic – stock
19-oz can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed – $1.39
6-8 medium-size fresh basil leaves – $2.50
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper – stock
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (plus some for brushing the garlic) – stock
1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar – stock
Salt, to taste – stock
Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen: $3.89

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Remove the papery outer layer of the garlic bulb (just enough so that the whole bulb stays intact), cut off the top ¼-inch of the bulb and brush with a little bit of olive oil. Wrap entirely with two layers of aluminum foil and roast for 40 minutes, or until garlic is nice and soft. Let cool until you can handle comfortably and remove the individual skins off each clove.

3. In the bowl of a food processor, toss in the cannellini beans, roasted garlic cloves, basil leaves and black pepper, then puree. Gradually pour in the olive oil and Balsamic while the processor is running until you create a creamy paste. Taste and season with salt (to your liking).

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Blog is the New Black April 19, 2012 at 7:55 am

Love this recipe and love that it doesn’t need sour cream, cream cheese, etc.


Baker Street April 19, 2012 at 10:24 am

What a stunning picture that is! You’ve managed to pack all my favorite ingredients into this delicious dip!


PolaM April 19, 2012 at 11:27 am

Love this dip! I have to try this!


Rhonda April 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm

This is more my style of a bean dip (versus layered canned re-fried bean stuff).


Bad Joan April 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Wow that looks delicious!

Bad Joan


mary anne April 19, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Darlin’ daughter, I watched Dr. Oz at the gym this week while treading on the treadmill. The guru of all-things-good did a piece on the top 4 anti-cancer foods and guess what? White beans were at the top of his list! So well done on a gorgeous dip/photo and timely recipe ala Oz! When do I get a sample, BTW? xo


Agnes Lepore Aliberto April 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm

This is a ‘Must do” for my next bean dip . Can I use Pink Beans instead of cannelli ?


feastonthecheap April 20, 2012 at 10:52 am

I’ve never used pink beans in this dip, so I can only recommend the white variety. Cannellini’s are so delicate and mild I’d stick with them to let the roasted garlic and basil shine through


Katie April 20, 2012 at 4:05 am

Anything with garlic and beans….. Delicious!


Angie April 20, 2012 at 8:46 am

I love the recipe, and the bowl too, how cute!


Rachel @ Following In My Shoes April 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

Cannelini beans are my FAVORITE. This looks delicious!


Barbara | Creative Culinary April 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm

A couple of us on Twitter were just sharing last night how much we LOVE roasted garlic…and then this is delivered to my inbox today. Perfect timing. I justify buying a gazillion garlic bulbs at Costco because I roast half of them and guess what I bought yesterday? I would eat this now for breakfast if they were done!


Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin April 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm

This sounds simple and amazing-tasting too! I love bean dip and can’t wait to try this variation :)


Mom Foodie April 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm

I will have to make this over the summer, when I have plenty of basil on hand :)


Marci L. April 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I love white bean dip, and will definitely try this one! I agree, simple is good.


P.S. I love the dip server it’s in! Where can I find one?


feastonthecheap April 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I love the server too! It was actually a wedding gift a few years ago so i have no clue where it’s from. I’ll pull it out and see if there are any logos on it and let you know!


Stacey May 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm

This sounds so good, can’t wait to try it. I would also like to find out about the server. It is really lovely.


Cass @foodmyfriend April 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm

This looks so yummy! I love your server. I have a similar one but it is all crockery and has 4 dip holes. I want to reach through the screen and eat it up!


JKCinDC May 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Hi there, I’ve been following your blog for a while and have tried a few recipes from time to time. This one, by far, has been the best! I whipped it up in less than 15 minutes for a dinner party that I was going to and it got fabulous reviews! It was such a good party that I left it in the car overnight but since it was chilly out it was still good to go in the morning when I realized my mistake! In fact, it was even better after the flavors married! Thanks for a great and easy idea. I will make this again!


Lillian May 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I love everything in this recipe!!! I’ll have to try it! Thanks!


search engine marketing May 17, 2012 at 5:54 am

Well, rats. I just used up the last of my white beans last night, and now I’m seeing your wonderful dip. Looks like I need to get more beans – this looks really, really wonderful! And I’m always on the hunt for a good use of sriracha! And I love, love, love the photos.


Terra May 25, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I love your blog!
This recipe is so simple and yummy!!!
It’s one of my new favorites to bring to parties :)
Also, I love the serving tray in the photo. Where can I find one like it?


RecipeNewZ June 12, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Brilliant recipe! I love garlic :-)


Marly December 18, 2012 at 10:25 am

This looks fabulous! It would be perfect to take to a holiday party. Thanks for the inspiration!


Mary July 9, 2013 at 11:09 am

I love love love cannellini beans, this is so economical compared to making hummus and buying tahini! I am having a wine tasting and this is the perfect appetizer for all that comes after!!


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