During the summer, I love to have dips on hand. They make it so much easier to create quick, simple meals that are still balanced and satisfying. This Roasted Fennel + White Bean Hummus came together in a rather hungry moment after processing my farmer’s market veggie haul – I had chopped up carrots and cucumber, and was cleaning out the fridge of leftovers.
You can amp up your standard hummus or bean dip recipe with just about any leftover cooked veggies or fresh herbs! Beets, sweet potato, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, green peas, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli… the list may actually be endless. I also love throwing in leftover herb pestos or languishing basil, mint, watercress, arugula, spinach, etc. Not a bad way to increase your veggie intake!
In this recipe, roasted fennel lends a lovely soft, mildly sweet flavour. If you love the sharper flavour raw fennel brings, this can be enhanced by adding more fresh basil or mint.
“God bless the Chickpea!”
~ George Clooney, Friends ~
While hummus is traditionally made with chickpeas, white beans make a great alternative. This category includes cannellini beans, navy beans (white, not navy!), boston beans and pea beans. All are high sources of fibre, and decent sources of minerals and protein. White beans also are lower on the glycemic index than chickpeas, if you are watching your relative glycemic load (though chickpeas, full of fibre, are still a great low-glycemic choice and can be substituted in this recipe!).
What makes a good hummus?
The key to a tasty hummus in MY kitchen is lots of tahini, lemon and cumin. This my holy hummus triad! Making sure there is a good balance of fats (rather than just water) keeps the dip thick, smooth and luscious. Not to mention your dip will be be WAY more satiating with some good healthy fats alongside the fibrous protein of the beans.
I usually add a good glug of olive oil as well, but in this case, my fennel had been roasted in olive oil, and my tahini was quite runny, so I didn’t. Play around and find what you like!
Roasted Fennel + White Bean Hummus
1 can white, navy or cannellini beans, rinsed
1 small roasted fennel, loosely chopped
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1-3 Tbsp water (to desired thickness)
1 clove garlic
1-2 tsp cumin (to taste)
few leaves fresh basil or mint
Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender, holding back some of the water. Pulse a couple times, and then process on high for a minute or two, stopping to scrape down the sides a couple times. Assess if you require more water to thin the hummus a little. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.
Serve with your favourite veggies, use as a dip for flatbreads or sweet potato fries, or try mixing into salads and cold pastas.