Recipe: Tuscan Bean Spread With Fresh Herbs

Perfect for sandwiches — or a party

Add grated carrot, radish sprouts and chopped tomatoes to this spread on whole wheat for a delicious sandwich. Or serve it with a basket of interesting breads (lavosh, pappadam and small sesame breadsticks) or crudites. Make it the day before, and store in an air-tight container.

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6 ounces dried white beans or two 15-ounce cans canellini beans, drained
Olive oil cooking spray or 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
4 large shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
3-3/4 cups fat-free, reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice


  1. If using dried beans, put the beans in a large pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover, and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain the beans, and set aside.
  2. Lightly coat the bottom of a nonstick pot with cooking spray. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the shallots are wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the rosemary, oregano and fennel, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.
  3. Add the beans and broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beans are tender. Remove from heat.
  4. When the bean mixture is cool, transfer it to a food processor blender. Puree, adding lemon juice as needed for the desired consistency.

Nutrition information

Makes 16 servings 

Per serving (3 tablespoons):

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Calories 55 (0% calories from fat)
Total fat 0g
Saturated fat 0g
Protein 3g
Carbohydrate 11g
Dietary fiber 3g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 116mg
Potassium 245mg

—Recipe from The Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook

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