Our great friend Emily made this fabulous appetizer for a party at the house and it was an instant hit. The conversation switched to how she made it and where she got the recipe. It was another great recipe from Food52 and she used one of our single varietal extra virgin olive oils. We liked it so much we didn’t change a thing. Once you try it, you won’t even think about the work you put into it and your guests will sing your praises! Thanks Emily!
For the roasted fennel and garlic:
- 1 large bulb (or 2 small), green stalks trimmed and bulb cut into 1-inch pieces (see photos)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons any Olive This! Single Varietal EVOO
- 2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the white bean puree:
- ¾ cups any Olive This! Single Varietal EVOO
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 2½ cups (about 2 cans) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with the oven rack in the middle position.Remove the stalks from the fennel bulb and cut the bulb in half through the root. With a sharp knife, cut a wedge around the core to remove it. Chop the fennel halves into 1-inch pieces (the layers will come apart like an onion).
To make the bean puree, start with heating ½ cup of EVOO in a medium skillet. Add the minced garlic and cook until just starting to turn golden. Add the chopped rosemary and the cannellini beans and cook for about a minute longer. Keep an eye on the garlic so it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat.
Using a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the cannellini bean mixture, roasted fennel and garlic, lemon juice, remaining ¼ cup of EVOO and all but 3 tablespoons of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Puree until you achieve a smooth consistency.
If your baking dish is filled to the top, place it on a baking sheet to catch any dip that may bubble over. Bake until the cheese on top is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with pita chips, crostini or fresh veggies. Enjoy!
MAKES 12 SERVINGS AS AN APPETIZER
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