There is no combination of flavors that I adore more than lemon and garlic; savory and pungent garlic, with tart, bright lemon. This white bean hummus dip is similar to traditional hummus in flavor with a smoother texture. The beans get very silky when blended with the olive oil and seasoning making this a little different from the hummus you’re used to. I used lemon thyme from my garden (easy to find if you’re planting herbs at most garden stores) but if you don’t have that on hand it’s not a deal-breaker. You can always substitute with extra lemon juice, a little zest from the peel and a handful of Italian parsley (fresh only, please!) The parsley and zest will add that ‘bright’ and ‘green’ flavor that the lemon thyme imparts. If you’re thinking about classic thyme– well, the flavor is very different. It’s a ‘pizza herb’. Seriously, the scent is great, but it immediately makes me think of pizza. Perfect for any Italian dish, but not the right addition here. And, one more note to make– don’t cheap out on the olive oil! This is a flavor component as well, and you’re adding quite a bit, so you’re going to taste it. Go for something quality that tastes good! This is a really healthy dip to serve with veggies or chips. Garlic and olive oil, very heart healthy. And lots of lean protein from the beans, means a filling snack.
1 16 oz can Cannellini Beans
1 tbs tahini
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup good quality olive oil, plus a drizzle for serving
5-8 sprigs fresh lemon thyme, leaves de-stemed
1 tbs cumin
1 tsp crushed red pepper
Open and rinse your can of beans– reserving most of the liquid; you’ll want to save at least 1 cup to add back in when blending. Smash your garlic cloves. Prep your lemon thyme by separating the leaves from the stems (the stems are tough, you’ll want to leave those out). No need to finely chop herbs or the garlic– everything will be incorporated in the blender (or food processor) so pile it in there. Starting with the olive oil first. Everything will blend easier (trust me) with the oil at the bottom. Add the beans, garlic, herbs and half the juice of the lemon. Pinch of salt, pinch of pepper. Blend. As you blend, slowly add the liquid reserved from the beans back to the mix as needed. You want a thick but silky texture- just like that of a traditional chickpea hummus. You can also begin tasting at this point, adding additional salt, pepper and the remaining lemon juice as needed.
Once you’ve achieved the flavor and texture you’re looking for, transfer to a bowl and garnish with a generous swoop of olive oil and some extra thyme leaves for color. Serve with veggie sticks and pita chips. (Also makes an excellent sandwich spread.) Keep covered and refrigerated for up to two weeks.