Tuscan White Bean Spread
This healthy alternative to butter is most satisfying served warm on grilled or toasted bread and drizzled with a fruity, extra-virgin olive oil.
Makes 2 cups.
- ½ pound (1 ¼ cups) dried cannellini beans, picked over and rinsed
- 6 cups cold water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black
- Combine the beans and the water in a large pot. Cover and let the beans soak overnight.
- Add the bay leaves to the soaked beans. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are very soft, about 45 minutes.
- Drain the beans, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid. Transfer the beans and the reserved cooking liquid to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients; process until smooth. Serve warm or cool as a spread on bread, crackers or in sandwiches.
You don't have to be a master baker like Metropolitan's James Barrett to make delicious French-inspired delights at home. Here are several favorites—some savory, some sweet—adapted by James for the home chef.