This Roasted Fennel and White Bean dip is kicking off my week of Oscar Night appetizers…as most of you who follow me regularly know, I love and adore fennel this time of year. This dip really brought the best of two worlds together…roasted fennel and a white bean dip, mixed together and topped with cheese and baked, DELISH! The fennel and garlic are roasted while the white beans simmer in a fragrant garlic and rosemary oil. Everything is blended together and spooned into a baking dish. The final step is covering the dip with cheese and popping into a hot oven…the final result is a smooth pureed dip with a crunchy cheese topping. I served this alongside toasted bread and pita chips.

Roasted Fennel and White Bean Dip
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, divided - 2 cloves remain whole, the other 2 are minced
  • ¾ cup olive oil plus 2-3 tablespoons for roasting fennel
  • 2½ cups cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  1. First make the roasted fennel. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the fennel with 2 whole garlic cloves in the olive oil and spread on a sheet pan, lined with foil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning twice during cooking. Take out and let cool.
  2. Start the cannellini bean puree. In a small frying pan heat ½ cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 garlic cloves, minced, and cook until lightly golden. Add rosemary and the cannellini beans and cook for one minute more. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Take it off the heat.
  3. In a food processor combine the garlic bean mixture, fennel, roasted garlic, lemon juice, remaining ¼ olive oil and all but 3 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese. Puree until smooth.
  4. Raise oven temp to 450 degrees. Transfer puree into a small baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Feel free to add more. If your dish is near full, place it on a baking sheet, in case it bubbles over in the oven. Bake until cheese is golden on top, about 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.