Originally, the recipe for this dip in our cookbook called for you to cook dried beans after soaking them overnight. That sure isn’t hard. In fact, braised white beans were the first recipe in Feeding Our People and the folks who have joined keep saying they’ll never use canned beans again. However, there’s nothing wrong with throwing together a quick dip with a couple of cans of beans if you want a healthy snack for the afternoon.
This recipe teaches you how to roast an entire head of garlic. You won’t need all of it here, but you can keep roasted garlic cloves, covered in olive oil, in the refrigerator, for pasta or soups or anything where the softened, familiar taste of roast garlic would work.
Roast the garlic. Heat the oven to 350°. Cut the head of garlic in half, horizontally. Drizzle both halves with 1 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the garlic in a small sauté pan and cover it with aluminum foil. Roast in the oven until the garlic is soft enough that you can squeeze the cloves out of their skins, about 45 minutes.
Cook the shallot. Set a small pan over medium heat and pour in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Put the shallot and rosemary in the hot oil. Sauté the shallot until it is soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not allow it to brown.
Make the dip. Put the beans into the bowl of a food processor, along with 6 cloves of the roasted garlic, the shallots and rosemary, the lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley. Puree the bean dip. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil. Season the dip and serve immediately.
Feel like playing? When you drain the beans, be sure to keep the liquid at the bottom of the can. It makes a great egg replacer!