Thursday, March 5, 2015

Rosemary-Sage White Bean Hummus

Last weekend I cooked up a pound of white beans as a healthy way to start off the week. I made a soup with half the cooked beans (about 3 cups) and used the rest for this lovely White Bean Hummus, one of my snacking (and potluck party) staple recipes. Since it's vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, and truffle-free, it meets most of my local friends' dietary restrictions in addition to being DEE-LISH. The trick is to pre-flavor the olive oil, so if you're very short on time you may want to buy some oil that's already flavored with herbs and/or garlic.

I used about 3 cups of white navy beans, but I'll provide the amounts as if I had used one can of beans (cannellini are pretty easy to find). I keep those in the cabinet for when I want to make something quickly, be it soup, hummus, or an Italian style tuna and beans salad. The recipe is easily doubled for a party.

1. Flavor the olive oil 1 to 24 hours in advance: put 1/4 cup olive oil, a sprig or two of rosemary, one or two sage leaves, and two peeled crushed garlic cloves into a small pan. If you only like one of these herbs or only want to splurge on one at the market, either one is fine by itself. Rosemary is one of the few plants I can keep alive and healthy, so I had it in the garden at my old place. It was already planted at this apartment building. 

2. Turn the heat on to medium and heat just until the oil starts to sizzle the tiniest bit. If the garlic starts to brown, pull it out and put in a fresh piece. Turn off the heat and let the good flavors seep into the oil. If you're going to let it sit overnight, cover it with some plastic wrap.

3. When you're ready to make the hummus, put two cups (about one can drained) beans and a couple of tablespoons of water into a food processor. A blender or stick blender is fine for this, too, or probably a potato masher if that's what you've got!

Kindly ignore the spilled olive oil on the stove. 

4. Strain the herbs and garlic from the oil. Add the oil to the food processor.

5. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black or white pepper.

6. Add the juice of 1/2 a juicy lemon to start. You may need the whole thing or even 2, depending on the lemons or your taste, but you won't know until you've pureed and tasted. I squeeze the juice through the same strainer as the herbs to catch the seeds.

7. Puree until smooth, stopping to taste and adjust amounts of lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oil (add a little plain olive oil if it needs more).

8. Put in a pretty bowl, even if it's just for you, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with pita chips and fresh veggies (sugar snap peas, carrots, celery, broccoli, whatever you like). I think I've even served it with salt and pepper potato chips for a grain-free friend! Edit 12/29/16: Skip the pita or potatoes, of course, if you're following AH phases 1 or 2. 

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