Divine Tuscan Bean Spread

Prepare CE columnist Tosca Reno's earthy spread when you need a quick and easy vegetable dip.

Serves: 1
Makes: 2 cups
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 to 50 minutes


  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and well drained (TIP: Choose BPA-free canned chickpeas such as Eden Organic.)
  • 1 15-oz can fava, lima, cannellini or navy beans, rinsed and well drained (TIP: Choose BPA-free canned beans such as Eden Organic.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground Tuscan spices, toasted (TIP: Combine equal amounts of ground oregano, paprika, fennel and garlic powder.)
  • Pinch ground cumin, toasted
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Prepare roasted garlic: Slice off top of garlic head and place garlic on sheet of parchment paper or foil. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over garlic and loosely wrap in parchment or foil. Place garlic on oven rack and roast for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat. Carefully open parchment or foil and let cool.
  2. Using the tip of a paring knife, remove roasted garlic cloves from their skins. In a food processor combine garlic, remaining oil, chickpeas, beans, lemon juice and spices. Pulse until mixture resembles a thick paste. Add more olive oil, if required, to achieve desired thickness. Add herbs and pulse lightly. Transfer to bowl and serve immediately, or cover with saran wrap and refrigerate (will keep for 4 days).

Nutrients per 2-tbsp serving: Calories: 121, Total Fat: 5 g, Sat. Fat: 0.5 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g, Carbs: 15 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 4 g, Sodium: 25 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

Video: How to: Beans

They’re economical, full of fiber and great for the heart! Learn how to use your beans in Chef Jo’s tutorial.