Wednesday, April 24, 2013

White Bean Dip with Rosemary

I had so much fun picking the rosemary that’s at the heart of this recipe. I went out at dusk the other day and picked a lovely handful of fragrant green sprigs. I have five rosemary plants scattered around my yard—small, attractive, well-behaved evergreen shrubs—and I picked from my biggest one, near the “barn” (really our garage). Just brushing up against the plant caused its famous piney scent to float up on the air; the air was full of fragrance. And when I was done picking, my hands and even the scissors smelled delightful too.

I’ve been reading a little bit about the health benefits of rosemary, and there are many. Rosemary contains potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents and is a good source of vitamin E. It’s believed to aid the memory and digestion, boost the immune system, and even improve your mood.

All these benefits have me scheming to plant more rosemary--and to make this great dip more often. I found the recipe long ago in an issue of Cottage Living, and I think it's just perfect, full of so many interesting flavors--lemon and rosemary and hot pepper and garlic. . . . It really is delicious. Cottage Living was always my favorite magazine in the old sweet days of magazines. When I was young and poor, I'd read it from cover to cover and dream about fancy picnics and the far-off day when I'd finally have a garden . . . full of rosemary.

White Bean Dip with Rosemary


3 Tbls olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained
3 Tbls fresh Meyer lemon juice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbls minced fresh rosemary


Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Cook until the onion is soft and slightly golden. Set aside to cool to about room temperature. Put the navy beans, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper flakes, and rosemary in a medium-sized bowl. Add the onions and garlic. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Serve with grilled pita wedges.

Morgan's Spring rose. (I always have to include some irrelevant pictures.)

My favorite bench


  1. My dear, those pictures are far from irrelevant! ;0)
    This recipe looks dee-lish! Just be aware that rosemary is NOT good for folks with high blood pressure.

  2. I JUST got two rosemary plants so I'll be trying your recipe. :0) Minus the olive oil, which I just recently developed an allergy to. :0(

  3. Leslie, your photos are as delicious to look at as no doubt the bean dip is tasty. I will have to get some navy beans this weekend and try this dip. Bet it would work well with some corn chips. I'm a big fan of rosemary!

  4. Your photos are so gorgeous! I really love your style of photography. This recipes sounds delicious too. I have some rosemary, so I'll have to try it! I really love white bean dips :)

  5. I love that recipe, and I will give it a try for sure. Rosemary also enhances hair growth (leaves steeped in hot water, cooled, and used as a rinse). It enhances the brunette color used the same way. To Randy try Grapeseed Oil, teeny bit expensive but goes a long way. Nice blog!

  6. This looks so yummy!! Your photos are just beautiful.

  7. Rosemary is one of my favourites. A neighbour once shared a slip with me and it grew and grew. Even survived a transplant when new paving went in. Sadly, it's gone now, as it grew too spindly and had to be removed. You've inspired me to buy a new rosemary for the herb garden.
    Beautiful pics as always.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Dotti :)

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  9. Yum. I just pinned it to my Pinterest account. I live too far north to be able to enjoy rosemary as a perennial, so I have to replant it every year. I do love it, though! I always dry a bunch at the end of the growing season to enjoy throughout the year. This recipe looks fabulous!

  10. I love this recipe, Leslie! I am going to have to get a Morgan's Spring rose. Now that the roses are blooming, I am having such bad rose fever. With the rose sale so far away...-B