Servings: Makes about 8 cups
Ingredients 2 cups (1 pound) dried white beans8 cloves garlic , peeled2 bunches rosemarySalt and freshly ground pepper to tasteChunks of crusty bread for serving
Rinse and pick over the beans. Soak in water to cover by two inches for at least six hours, or up to 24 hours. Drain.
Put the garlic cloves in a small saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a full simmer over medium-high heat and then immediately drain. Return the garlic cloves to the saucepan. Cover with more cold water and repeat. Do this a total of five times. Set the blanched garlic cloves aside.
Put the beans in a stockpot or large saucepan and add water to cover by two inches. Bring to a rapid simmer. Skim any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender but not mushy.
Drain the beans in a colander set over a bowl. Reserve the cooking liquid. Transfer the beans to a blender or a food processor. Add the garlic cloves and puree until smooth, adding as much of the cooking liquid as necessary for a thick, spreadable or dippable consistency.
Gently stir the bean dip with the rosemary bunches for about three minutes, or until the dip is fragrant with the scent of rosemary. Discard the rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm with the bread. Or, transfer to a lidded container, cover, and refrigerate for up to one week. Bring to a simmer over low heat before serving.
Recommended technique: To make this recipe even easier, buy canned white beans and skip the soaking step. And if you like garlic, then bypass the blanching and just toss the cloves into the food processor with the beans. If you're not as crazy about it, reduce the number of cloves you use.
From the book Taste Pure and Simple
For more from Michel Nischan, visit his website: www.michelnischan.com