Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Mediterranean spread with cannellini beans

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

Timaree Hagenburger
Nutrition Professor, Cosumnes River College, Sacramento

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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


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

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