White Bean Spread Print
Most of us love bread. When thinking of great tasting accompaniments to bread, challenge the butter and olive oil and balsamic vinegar routine with this hearby spread. What you have here is a versatile spread for toasted baguettes or warm crepes. You can also use it as a dip made for thick chunks of French bread or pita sandwiches. Plan one day in advance in order to soak the beans overnight. Of course, you always have the option of using canned beans if you're really pressed for time, but I encourage you to prepare them from scartch. The difference is in the taste and the feeling you get when you've really made something yourself.

2 cups Great Northern or cannellini beans, soaked overnight in 6 cups water to cover and 1 tsp baking soda
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried basil or pesto
2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 whole grain baguette
Do not drain the water the beans have been soaking in overnight. Bring it to a boil and cook the beans for about 45 minutes. The beans should be easily pierced with a fork.
Preheat the broiler.
Drain and transfer the cooked beans to a food processor or blender. Add the basil or pesto,limejuice, garlic, cumin, salt, Parmesan and 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and process or blend until smooth.
Cut the baguette into 1 inch slices and brush the remaining Tbsp's of olive oil over them, then broil on the lower rack until lightly browned.
Put the toasted baguette slices on a platter. Scrape the spread into a nice bowl and set in the middle of the platter and serve.
Serves 12.

Per Serving:
Calories: 156.1 - Fat: 4.1g - Saturated Fat: 0.7g (23.1% of calories from fat) - Protein: 8.6g - Carbohydrated: 22.3g - Cholesterol: 1 mg - Fiber: 5.4g

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