Italian White Bean Spread
"At the restaurant, we wanted to have a nice shareable vegetarian option. We started going over what we like to snack on at parties with friends while enjoying a few beverages. Hummus came up in the conversation and we decided to do a Midwest rendition. Instead of using chickpeas we decided to use local white beans. It's a very simple recipe with roasted garlic, good extra virgin olive oil, and some dill weed for a little zip. We serve it with a spring vegetable giardiiera (giardiniera is condiment indigenous to Chicago), local creamy farmers cheese, and toasted pumpernickel bread from a local bakery. The giardiniera really adds texture and acidity, while the farmers cheese ties the whole dish together. Our rendition of hummus really embodies what we like to do at Sable, taking classic dishes like hummus and elevating them, while utilizing seasonal and local produce," says Executive Chef Lawrence Letrero at Sable Kitchen & Bar in Chicago.
- 4 cups Dry Italian White Beans, rinsed
- Sachet with 2 tablespoons Peppercorns, 4 Bay Leafs, 1 Tablespoon Fennel Seeds, 6 Fresh Thyme Sprigs
- 1 cup Roasted Garlic Cloves
- 2 tablespoons Dill Weed
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- In a large pot, soak the beans in 1 gallon of water overnight. The next day, strain the beans from the water and place in a large pot with 1 gallon of vegetable stock and the sachet. Cook for 2-3 hours adding vegetable stock (or water) as needed. Beans will be super soft, almost to a point of mushiness.
- Strain the beans from any excess liquid. Do not cool! In a food processor, blend the hot beans with the roasted garlic, dill weed. Gradually incorporate the olive oil until the mixture is smooth (or to your liking). Season with salt and pepper.