For me, personally, fall and winter are all about making use of pantry items such as dried beans. I am a huge fan of dried beans, actually, and always have a few varieties of beans and other dried provisions on hand.
This recipe was born out of a desire to actually use up the massive quantities of dried goods I've been hoarding in my kitchen cupboards lately. I live in New York but sometimes I act like I have real estate to spare, which is absolutely not the case. Cleaning out the cupboards/closets is always a winning move.
I also got a little herb crazy over the summer and, ever since, I have been looking for ways to justify my manic expenses at garden and hardware stores back in July. Although my kitchen windowsill is lined with pots and pots of herbs that are now rapidly drying out, the rosemary and thyme have turned out to be remarkably resilient and, therefore, very useful in my culinary exploits. (I can definitely get behind a plant that manages to thrive even under the care of a busy and self-absorbed lawyer). And so, this hummus is quite the herbal situation. I mean, it is literally packed with an assortment of both fresh and dried herbs.
This pretty, green hummus has become everything to me. With layers of herbal and citrus notes, the resultant flavor is complex and brighter than one would expect. And it's completely versatile - I've used it as a dip, in avocado sandwiches and collard wraps, and on baked potatoes, roasted cauliflower, and roasted fish. Its clean lemon flavor is welcome everywhere, basically.
Lemon Rosemary White Bean Hummus (v/gf)
Makes approx. 3 cups
1 cup dried cannellini beans (or 2 cans)
1 dried bay leaf
2 tbsp tahini
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
1 sprig of rosemary, finely minced*
1 tsp dried oregano
juice and zest of 1 lemon*
1-4 tbsp water, as needed*
sea salt, to taste
For dried beans: soak the beans for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse well. Cover with a few inches of water in a large soup pot, add a bay leaf, and bring the beans to a boil. Simmer on low to medium heat, partly uncovered, for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the beans are tender. If not using right away, the beans can be stored in the fridge in their cooking liquid for a few days. Otherwise, drain the beans well. Optional move: reserve a little bit of the cooking liquid to process the beans below.
For canned beans: just drain and rinse them well.
Transfer the beans to a food processor and add the tahini, mustard, garlic, parsley, rosemary, oregano, and half of the lemon juice and zest. Process until creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. If the mixture is dry, add in the water (or reserved bean cooking liquid), 1 tablespoon at a time until you achieve a creamy texture. Taste for seasoning and add salt and the remaining lemon zest/juice, as needed.
The hummus can be stored in the fridge for up to a week (cover with plastic wrap by placing the plastic directly on top of the surface of the hummus to prevent it from drying out) or stored in the freezer for up to one month.
Notes: If you have a very large or very juicy lemon, start with 1/2 of the lemon zest and juice and taste before adding the rest.
Rosemary is strong - a little goes a long way.
I know that it seems counterintuitive but adding water instead of oil yields a creamier hummus. Basically, tahini + water will always result in creamy perfection.