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Mediterranean spread with cannellini beans

Mediterranean spread with cannellini beans

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans
10 cloves garlic, roasted
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil (or vegetable broth or water)
3/4 tsp. dried thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp. fresh)
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary (or 1 tsp. fresh)
Salt, to taste


This versatile spread inspires creativity. Or, as dietitian Timaree Hagenburger put it, "Imagine all the ways you can serve it!"

Directions

Combine all ingredients except salt in a food processor and blend until smooth. (Begin with warm beans for the smoothest texture.) Taste and then season with salt, if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed.

Serving suggestions: Spread on grilled zucchini slices or stuff into miniature sweet peppers, then top with sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives. Or, serve in a whole-grain pita with fresh vegetables, such as grated carrots, thinly sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, and a tablespoon of olive tapenade. Or, layer in a whole-grain wrap with grilled vegetables and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Nutrition information (for 1/4 cup): 80 calories, 1 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 13 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 5 g protein, 101 mg sodium (if made with 1/4 tsp. salt), 53 mg calcium, 2 mg iron, 272 mg potassium.

The Nutrition Professor's Shop Smart, Prep Smart Tips:

  • Wrap an entire head of garlic in foil and roast in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until soft and golden.
  • Always taste before seasoning with salt, as it is easier to add more than to try to "fix" a spread that is too salty. Also consider what you are putting on top of the spread, as olives will bring saltiness to the finished dish.

Serves 6