Recipe Review: Mark Bittman's Rosemary-Lemon White Bean Dip

With all the rain and warm weather we've had in Boston recently, our pot of rosemary has started to look a bit wild and scraggly around the edges. It's in definite need of a trim!

We tagged this Mark Bittman recipe for Rosemary-Lemon Bean Dip a while back, and it sounded like the perfect use for our rosemary clippings.

Pin it button
With canned cannelini beans from our pantry and the help of our much-loved food processor, this dip took a total of about 5 minutes to pull together--and most of that was chopping up the rosemary!

The result was a thick purée with a smooth mouthfeel, like hummus. The flavors were well balanced and fresh, leaving a lingering taste of olive oil and garlic. For us, one clove of garlic was just perfect. Any more and we think the raw garlic would have overwhelmed the other more delicate flavors.

Next time we make this dip, we might like an extra teaspoon of rosemary and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice. We love those flavors and can always have more of them!

Aside from a classic dip with raw veggies or chips, we could see this as a spread on a sandwich or even as a side for grilled meats or fish. Honestly, we had a hard time not eating it straight from the bowl!

A few notes:


  • Be sure to use a good quality olive oil. Its presence in the dip is subtle but definite, and it adds a roundness to the flavor. You'd lose this quality if using a lower-quality oil, or even end up with unpleasant chemical flavors.
  • Definitely stream the oil into the bean and garlic purée while the food processor is running. This creates an emulsion and brings together the fibrous beans into a creamy sauce.
  • Mince the rosemary as finely as possible. Small particles blended in with the beans just fine, but larger pieces made an unpleasant gritty texture with the smooth purée.

For Mark Bittman's recipe for Rosemary-Lemon White Bean Dip, visit Bitten, his NY Times blog.

Related: Cooking With Fresh Herbs

(Images: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)

4 Comments