on the side : cannellini bean spread


I got the inspiration for this starter years ago at a local restaurant called Eno Terra.  Rather than serving bread with olive oil, this restaurant brought out a basket of bread with a side of bean spread.  It was so simple yet delicious and an ingenious alternative to a more traditional starter.  Reminiscent of hummus minus the Greek flavors, this is a refreshing and light starter your guests will gobble up in no time.  It takes hardly no time to prep leaving you plenty of time to tame the other star dishes.


  • Cannellini Beans (12 oz)
  • Lemon (1/2)
  • Italian Parsley (1 tbsp)
  • Garlic Clove (1)
  • Thyme (1 sprig)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Baguette


  1. Pre-heat oven or toaster oven to 375 F.  If you’re multi-tasking through multiple dishes like me, you’ll likely already have an oven pre-heated.
  2. Thinly slice the baguette crosswise into 1/4 inch slices.  Brush one side with olive oil.  Pop the baguettes into your oven while you make the spread.
  3. If using canned beans, make sure you drain and rinse the beans thoroughly.
  4. Using a food processor, blend together the beans, chopped parsley, lemon zest and juice, thyme, and chopped garlic.  Season with salt + pepper.
  5. As you blend the ingredients, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until you get a nice consistent texture.  Taste as you go along and add more salt + pepper as needed.
  6. Plating:  Coat the oiled side of the baguette with the bean spread or serve the toasted baguettes with a side of spread.

One thought on “on the side : cannellini bean spread

  1. Pingback: on the menu : thanksgiving dinner ’10 « Whole Grain Foodie

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