White Bean Spread with Fresh Pesto


A smooth, creamy, and deliciously savoury white bean spread pairs beautifully with a fresh pesto atop golden-baked tartines – this was the appetizer for the 2013 Macro Feast!

The white bean spread turned out even creamier and more indulgent than I had imagined it would – there was almost a delicate cheesiness to the savoury spread that I was definitely aiming for.

The decadence of the spread needed to be balanced out by something bright and acidic, so I made an herb pesto with lots of fresh lemon.

I used the spread and pesto to top off tartines – thin slices of baguette baked in the oven until golden brown – but you could use it for just about any kind of sandwich or wrap, or even as a vegetable dip!

– – – – –

White Bean Spread Ingredients:
– 1 cup white cannellini beans, soaked overnight
– 1 onion
– 2-3 cloves garlic
– 1 tsp lemon zest
– juice from ½ lemon
– 1 tbsp sesame oil
– 1 tsp salt
– ½ tsp cumin seeds
– 1 tsp cumin

Place soaked beans in a large, stainless-steel pressure cooker pot and cover with about 2 inches of water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Secure the lid, wait until the pressure rises, and cook over medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and let the pressure fall naturally before opening the pot and draining your beans.

Alternatively, if you do not have a pressure cooker, you can use a stainless-steel pot with a heavy base and lid. However, the cooking time increases to 1 – 1 ½ hours.

While your beans cool, begin heating the sesame oil in a stainless steel pan over medium heat. Add coriander seeds and let fry gently for a minute or two until fragrant. Add onions and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add cumin and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

Place beans and onion mixture into a food processor. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt, and process until you have a smooth spread.

Alternatively, you can use a manual food mill. Mix the beans and onion mixture together and churn through the food mill on the finest setting. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt.

Can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature.

Pesto Ingredients:
– 1 cup basil
– 1 cup parsley
– ½ cup mint
– juice and zest of 1 lemon
– pinch of salt
– 2-4 tbsp olive oil, as needed

In a food processor, begin to chop basil, parsley, and mint until it is mostly chopped through. Add lemon juice, zest, and salt. With food processor running, slowly pour in the oil so it is worked into the pesto evenly and gently – this creates an important emulsifying effect – until desired consistency is reached.

Serve room temperature or chilled.


4 thoughts on “White Bean Spread with Fresh Pesto

  1. Hello, I asked a question on the cooking classes page but I don’t see my question there, perhaps you didn’t see it either? I wanted to know how much your courses are and where they are held? Do you have DVDs of your cooking classes? I have no car to attend out of my city (Brantford Ont) Thanks!


    • Hi Tanya,

      First of all, I want to apologize for not having seen your comment until now. I have your email address here and will be sending you an email (look for brianaboldin@outlook.com) to let you know the kinds of courses I’m offering right now – both in my Burlington, ON home kitchen as well as online! I’d also like to offer you a discount as a small gesture for your waiting so long for a reply.

      My apologies again and have a wonderful afternoon! Look forward to speaking with you soon 🙂



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s