Lemon Rosemary White Bean Dip

This dip, made in a mere 10 minutes or less, made me want to kiss Mark Bittman in gratitude. Not in a creepy way, but more in an oh-wow-you-just-saved-my-day way.

Let me back up.

This morning I roasted a whole cauliflower with garlic and rosemary. It filled the house with this wonderful aroma that left me drooling and contemplating if I really needed to continue with the recipe I was working on. But the roasted cauliflower wasn’t for a side dish — it was for a dip recipe that I am working on. A lovely, creamy, pureed cauliflower dip. Except it was awful – a total epic fail. I couldn’t get it into the garbage fast enough.

Of course, that left me totally bummed. So much for spreading it on bread for a sandwich today or enjoying it with crackers. So much for having a successful and ready to use recipe by the end of the day. It needs a complete revisiting and overhaul.

That’s when Bittman saved the day. (Ha! Sort of.) I started looking around for an easy, fast dip that I could make from what I had in my kitchen already (I am trying hard to break my daily grocery store trip habit). I stumbled onto this amazing white bean dip recipe that Mark Bittman wrote about on Diner’s Journal back in 2008. He said the secret to it is something he learned from Lidia Bastianich: lemon zest. It gives the dip the essence of lemon without the overpowering acidity.

The creamy dip is filled with a wonderful mix of earthy rosemary, pungent garlic (use less if you aren’t a fan) and citrus-y lemon zest. It’s perfect for dipping crackers into, or serving with your favorite chopped veggies. It would make a good sandwich spread too. And since it can be made ahead, it makes a great holiday appetizer too.

Speaking of holiday appetizers, I will be a guest tweeter at the Mediterranean Snacks Twitter Party this Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST. Follow hashtag #holidaysnax to join in the fun as we talk about holiday snacking, shopping and more. Get the full details on the Mediterranean Snacks blog. Scroll all the way down for details on a delicious Mediterranean Snacks giveaway too.

adapted ever so slightly from Mark Bittman’s recipe for Rosemary-Lemon White Bean Dip

Lemon Rosemary White Bean Dip
Serves: serves 8
  • 1 15.5-oz can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp finely minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 grated lemon peel (zest only)
  1. Combine the beans, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until chopped. Add the olive oil and process until smooth. Remove the white bean mixture to a bowl. Stir in the rosemary and lemon zest.
  2. Serve with chopped veggies or crackers.


Mediterranean Snack Foods Giveaway

Mediterranean Snack Foods has generously offered to give away a big selection of their delicious gluten-free chips and crackers to one Sarah’s Cucina Bella reader. I’ve been enjoying these snacks for weeks now, ever since they sent me some. The Rosemary Herb Crackers are my absolute favorite (this is the 4th box I have bought since trying the samples they sent).

The giveaway is a full size of each Mediterranean Snack Foods chip and cracker flavor – so 6 chips and 3 crackers.

Giveaway closed. Thanks to Mediterranean Snack Foods and all who participated.

Disclosure: The giveaway is provided by Mediterranean Snacks. They also provided me with cracker and chip samples awhile back. However, I was not compensated for this post and was not obligated to write about the party, chips, crackers or anything else. All opinions are my own.


  1. Cee says

    My favorite dip is baba ghanouj. I actually had an unusual combination for a holiday party today–pimento cheese and red pepper jelly. Surprisingly delicious!

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