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White Bean Spread

When thinking of great taste accompaniments to bread, challenge the butter and olive oil and balsamic vinegar routine with this herby spread. What you have here is a versatile accompaniment 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.

Food as Medicine

White beans are an especially good source of fiber. Eaten as part of a meal, they slow the metabolism of glucose, making these beans an excellent dietary choice for diabetics or pre-diabetics.


2 cups Great Northern or cannellini beans, soaked overnight in 6 cups of water to cover and 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil or pesto
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 whole grain baguette


Dr Weil Suggests:
I much prefer the pesto to the dried basil.

Note: Do not drain the water that the beans have been soaking in overnight. Bring it to a boil and cook for 45 minutes. The beans should be easily pierced with a fork.

1. Preheat the broiler.

2. Drain and transfer the cooked beans to a food processor or blender. Add the basil or pesto, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt, Parmesan cheese, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and process or blend until smooth.

3. Cut the baguette into 1-inch slices and brush the remaining tablespoons of olive oil over them, then broil on the lower rack until lightly browned.

4. Put the toasted baguette slices on a platter. Scrape the spread into a nice bowl and set it in the middle of the platter and serve.

Tip from Rosie's Kitchen:
As long as you are preparing beans from scratch, you could double the amount and reserve half to make White Beans and Fusilli.

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Serves 12

Nutrients Per Serving:

Calories 156.1
Fat 4.1g
Saturated Fat 0.7g
(23.1% of calories from fat)
Protein 8.6g
Carbohydrate 22.3g
Cholesterol 1mg
Fiber 5.4g

This recipe is from THE HEALTHY KITCHEN - Recipes for a Better Body, Life, and Spirit by Andrew Weil, M.D and Rosie Daley (Knopf)



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