Italian White Bean Dip with White Truffle Oil

One of my favorite light snacks is hummus with quality crackers. Smooth, a little spicy and very flavorful, this healthful spread made of chickpeas, tahini, citrus juice, olive oil and spices goes beautifully on bread, crackers, vegetables and works just as well as a sandwich spread as it does a dip. For variety, I sometimes make this very similar recipe, tweaked enough to become something entirely new. Pureed legumes go from rustic Middle Eastern to refined Mediterranean in this Italian white bean dip with white truffle oil.

Any of the several varieties of white beans work well in this recipe, though my favorite are cannellini, sometimes called white kidney beans. Their texture is smoother and creamier than Great Northern beans, but any canned white beans may be used almost interchangeably.

A food processor is the fastest and easiest way to whip up this dip, though a blender may also be used. In a food processor, puree the beans, tahini, spices and oil with some of the lemon juice to avoid overflowing. Add enough of the remaining lemon juice and water to a running food processor to achieve the desired consistency; this ensures that the maximum liquid level is honored. Conversely, if using a blender, blend all the ingredients but the beans; add them gradually to ensure smooth blending. Stop adding the beans once the mixture is too thick to puree successfully.

This dip’s special touch is the inclusion of white truffle oil. Contrary to common misconception, truffle oil is not actually the oil from a truffle, but instead olive oil infused with these prized fungi. Some brands actually contain no real truffle, but are instead infused with organic aromas and chemicals found in the truffle to approximate the flavor. While many chefs complain that truffle oils offer a weak, one-dimensional flavor in place of the prized depth found in the real thing, in casual recipes, a light touch of truffle-infused olive oil adds a perfect, elegant note.

Serve this flavorful, healthful dip with vegetables, high-quality crackers or as a sandwich spread. I particularly like it with Ak-Mak, Wasa or Ry Krisp crackers, all of which have simple, flavorful balance to their nutritional appeal.

Italian White Bean Dip with White Truffle Oil

Similar to hummus, this white bean dip is smoother and creamy with assertive garlic and lemon. White truffle oil lends an elegant aromatic earthiness, though high-quality extra virgin olive oil can be substituted.

2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, such as cannellinis

3 garlic cloves, pressed

1/3 cup tahini

1/3 cup chopped parsley, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish

1 tablespoon white truffle oil

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/3 to ½ cup lemon juice

¼ cup water (if necessary)

Olive Oil

In a food processor, combine the white beans, garlic, tahini, parsley, white truffle oil, salt, cumin, cayenne and 1/3 cup of lemon juice. Puree until the mixture is smooth, about three minutes, scraping sides of bowl if necessary. Add remaining lemon juice and water if the dip is too thick.

Transfer to a small bowl, sprinkle with reserved parsley and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with high quality crackers.

Yields about 3 ¼ cups

10. April 2012 by Matt Jackson
Categories: Healthful Eating, Hors d’oeuvres, Spreads, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. I realized after making this dip a couple nights ago that I mistakenly used white truffle oil instead of black, as I originally thought! Turns out, there’s not a huge difference, it’s delicious either way, but white truffle oil makes it slightly more authentic, as white truffles are grown in Italy, and black in France.
    I noticed by looking at the photo of the truffle oil I posted, and was a little embarrassed. I’ve adjusted the recipe to actually note what was in it. Hope you enjoy it either way!

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