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.

2 cups Great Northern or  cannellini beans
1 teaspoon baking soda
1  bay leaf
1 teaspoon pesto or  dried basil
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1  clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
12  whole grain baguettes
Soak beans overnight in 6 cups water (to cover) and baking soda.

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

Preheat the boiler.

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. 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.

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.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 10-15 min
soak beans overnight

Cook Time: 45 min

Servings: 12

Recipe By: Andrew Weil and Rosie Daley

From:  The Healthy Kitchen
Used with permission of Knopf

Nutrition Facts
As prepared, each serving contains 156 calories, 4g total fat, 1mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 22g total carbohydrate and 8g protein.