amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well

White bean aioli

POSTED ON June 23, 2010

aioli with vegetables

The idea for a white bean aioli came to me when I was trying to think of a good vegan option for mayonnaise on a tempeh burger (recipe in the works). If I was to smear this on a bun, I might thin it out with more olive oil and maybe some lemon juice too.  Oh, I just remembered that I had planned to add a touch of saffron to the cooking beans to give it that classic golden hue…next time!

I was looking for a nice creamy, rich pate or spread to serve with market veggies for dinner tonight and this seemed like the perfect thing to go with everything else I had on hand.
I got all these lovely baby carrots and zucchini, sugar snaps and radishes from the Union square farmers market this morning. As soon as I got home I put the carrots in the oven with fresh thyme, the zucchini went in with coarse sea salt and I left the sugar snaps and radishes raw for some fresh crunch.

I’m also making this salad and some lightly dressed baby lettuce and radicchio leaves, all of which should make a delicious room temperature meal to celebrate the beginning of summer.

Feel free to cut this recipe in half, I made a large batch as it makes a great snack or quick lunch when the weather is this hot (85 in New York) and cooking is out of the question (not that I ever stop!)



ready for the oven

ready to blend

carrots with thyme

roasted carrots

view from the other side

White bean aioli

2 cups cannellini beans, soaked over night

5 bay leaves

2 inches kombu

3 small heads garlic or one large one

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Black pepper

umeboshi plum vinegar

Naturally fermented apple cider vinegar

Drain beans, rinse and place in a pot or pressure cooker. Cover with about an inch of fresh filtered water, add bay leaves and kombu. Bring to a boil, skim off any foam that rises to the top, lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook until beans are tender. OR for you lucky ducks, who have a pressure cooker; bring up to high pressure, lower heat and cook for 35 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the papery skins from the outer edges of garlic and cut about a ¼ inch off the top of each head. Drizzle with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Wrap in parchment and foil and bake until soft and golden, about 25 minutes.

Remove bay leaves and kombu from the beans, drain and reserve about ½ a cup of the cooking liquid.  Place beans into a food processor; pour in about ½ a cup of olive oil, large pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Remove garlic from foil and squeeze cooked cloves directly into bowl of food processor. Blend until super smooth, adding as much cooking liquid to get desired consistency, you may also want to add more olive oil.

At this point I usually taste it before adding the umeboshi vinegar, usually about a teaspoon is enough. If it needs more tang add a few drops apple cider vinegar then salt and pepper to taste.

To serve place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and fresh cracked pepper.

Makes about 4 cups.

Here’s what I did with the carrots, works for any summer vegetable you choose to roast.

Toss carrots with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper and fresh thyme sprigs.

Roast at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.

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  • thecatskillkiwi says:

    this should definitely be on the july 4th weekend menu!

  • You had me at kombu; so glad someone else out there cooks their beans with it! And I love the addition of umeboshi, that never crossed my mind to throw into a bean spread. Did you use fresh or dried bay leaves?

  • Anna says:

    Amy, made this dip just as you described and am in love. can’t wait to eat with crudites, swirl with za’atar, dollop on top of salads…flavorful enough to stand on its own but neutral enough to play with lots of flavors! Thank you for helping me use up that jar of white beans in my pantry 🙂

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