white bean hummus

After a crazy month of May, including a whirlwind trip to Atlanta last weekend for BlogHer Food 2011, I’m ready for some calm. I’m craving simplicity, a day with no task more challenging than transferring clothes, heavy and damp from the washing machine, over to the dryer. I need a day to spend with my children at our community pool – Madeline and Oliver swimming and splashing each other, and me lying on a lounge chair with the book I’m reading. I want to catch up on the growing mountain of food magazines that I have neglected. I have two cookbooks at home that I’ve not earmarked and cooked from yet, and those gorgeous hardcovers are begging for my attention.

This weekend, I think to myself, just get me to this weekend. Three full days without work obligations, without travel, without children’s birthday parties to buy gifts for and attend, and without any home projects that must be accomplished before a certain deadline.

In the spirit of simplicity, I am sharing this white bean hummus recipe with you. This dip is an uncomplicated variation on traditional hummus made from chickpeas. Until recently, I never kept my pantry stocked with cans of chickpeas (of course, that was before my recent chickpea obsession). We’ve always had plenty of cans of white beans to pull off the shelf, though. So for this straightforward appetizer, I branched out from the chickpea to the white bean – and specifically, the cannellini bean.

The canned cannellini beans and tahini paste, when blended in the food processor with the other ingredients, make a savory dip that is creamy and reminiscent of traditional hummus. A dash of cayenne pepper kicks up the heat, and the amount can be adjusted to your own liking. Paired with crudités or pita chips or pretzels, white bean hummus makes an easy appetizer or snack for the lunch box.

And I am so about easy right now.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Total Time: 10 min

White Bean Hummus

Because the tahini (roasted sesame seed paste) tends to separate, be sure to stir it well prior to measuring it out and adding it to the food processor. Also, feel free to adjust the amount of cayenne pepper depending on how much heat you like.


1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15.5 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Pita chips or crudités


Place parsley, tahini and next 7 ingredients (through cayenne) in a food processor. Process until smooth. Spoon into a bowl and serve with pita chips or crudités.