Roasted Fennel White Bean Dip
This silky white bean dip dotted with sweet roasted fennel and garlic is the perfect addition to any snack plate. Paired with crudité or toasted baguette slices, it is sure to please everyone. The addition of roasted fennel and garlic elevates this classic but simple dip.
It took me a long time to get on board with fennel. I always liked the seed in certain savory applications (Italian sausage is by far the best pizza topping), but actual fennel bulb? No thank you.
This is because I only had fennel its raw form. Fennel aides in digestion and is often served raw and thinly sliced between courses. It has an anise, black licorice taste and that always turned me off.
I tried a recipe for pasta with roasted fennel a few years ago and, as a result, my world was turned upside down. Once roasted, fennel takes on a sweetness and the anise flavor is toned down to a pleasant back note. I do have to admit, the more I eat fennel, the more I like it, in all of its forms.
What can I do with white bean dip?
What can’t you do with this versatile dip?
Snacking: pair this dip with toasted baguette slices, gluten free crackers, or mini bell peppers.
Sandwiches and Wraps: use this dip as a replacement for mayonnaise in your favorite veggie (or non veggie) sandwich or wrap. It is especially delicious paired with roasted bell peppers and mushrooms.
Pasta Sauce: hear me out on this one… mixing hummus into pasta is a regular practice of most vegans I know. This dip is basically a white bean hummus and it turns into a creamy and luxurious sauce that is perfect for pasta.
What’s in white bean dip?
Fennel: you will want a nice sized fresh fennel bulb for this recipe. First, I cut off the root and and give it a very good rinse. Next, I slice the white bulb thinly and then begin to cut thicker pieces as I go up the bulb. I roast the fronds along with the bulb, but make sure to save a few fronds for a garnish.
Garlic: this is, of course, my all time favorite ingredient. You will be roasting the cloves whole, along with the fennel. Feel free to add or subtract as many cloves as you’d like to suit your personal tastes.
Cannellini Beans: these are also known as white kidney beans. You can use any white bean for this recipe. I prefer cannellini because they transform into a silky, almost cream like texture. This is where canned beans can truly shine.
Lemon: this will brighten up the dip and add a nice touch of acidity to cut through the creamy beans and olive oil.
Olive Oil: a good extra virgin olive oil will be a nice addition to this dip. I prefer to use a high quality olive oil for dips and salads. Basically, any time you are eating olive oil raw, opt for a good extra virgin. That being said, you can use any olive oil that you have. It is not the star of the show here, but it does add a nice flavor to the dip.
Substitutions: I understand, fennel is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you do want to change it out for something else, I recommend marinated artichokes or caramelized onions. If using caramelized onions, I would suggest swapping out the lemon juice for balsamic vinegar and omitting the lemon zest.
It’s time to give fennel a chance to change your mind!
Roasted Fennel White Bean Dip
- Food Processor
- 1 each fennel bulb thinly sliced, including the fronds
- 3 each garlic cloves whole
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
White Bean Dip
- 15 oz can of cannellini beans
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 6 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2-4 tbsp water, or as needed
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Toss the sliced fennel, garlic cloves, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl.
- Spread the vegetables onto a parchment paper lined sheet tray.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the fennel and garlic is a light golden color, and fragrant. Cool for 15 minutes.
White Bean Dip
- Add the cooled fennel and garlic to a food processor and puree on high until mostly smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape the side of the bowl.
- Drain and rinse the cannellini beans and add them to the food processor with the pureed fennel.
- Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Puree the dip on high for 3-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl every minute or so.
- Once the dip is smooth, turn the food processor onto low and slowly drizzle the 6 tbsp of olive oil into the bowl. Stop the food processor and scrape the sides.
- Turn the food processor back onto low and drizzle in the water until the desired consistency.
- Pour the dip into a serving dish and drizzle with additional olive oil if desired.