White Bean and Nut Butter Dip Recipe

White Bean and Nut Butter Dip

Our neighbor-friends Stéphan and Patricia have been busy repainting their living-room these past few weeks. On Sunday they were finally done, so they rearranged the furniture, knocked on our kitchen window with the Ceremonial Wooden Spoon, and invited us over for a little newly-repainted-house-warming drink.

You just don’t go to a house-warming party — however improvized — empty-handed, so we decided to prepare a few nibbles to accompany the bottle of champagne we knew they’d open. This seemed like the perfect occasion to try a recipe I had noticed in Trish Deseine’s latest cookbook, called “J’en veux encore!”. This new book has a focus on kids : dishes they’ll enjoy, recipes you can make with them, recipes they can make on their own. No particular conclusion should be jumped to here, we have no plans to start a family as of yet : this cookbook is just chock-full of great ideas and beautiful pictures — for everyone, not just parents.

The recipe I used here is a simple dip made by blending a can of white beans (drained) with lemon juice and peanut butter. It caught my attention because the flavor mix sounded great, and I loved how it used ingredients that you can easily keep on hand, to deal efficiently with dip-emergency situations. Of course, I couldn’t very well just follow the recipe as written, so I made a few modifications, substitutions and additions : lime juice instead of lemon, sesame butter in addition to peanut butter, sun-dried tomatoes for color and zing, and a little chili sauce and Worcestershire sauce for spice and seasoning.

We ate the dip with little sticks of young carrots and cucumber, and it was a real hit : creamy, tasty and quite addictive. A little rummaging around the kitchen had also produced a little tin of foie gras from the Perigord, which we sliced and spread on toasts, as well as a package of mini boudins créoles, spicy blood sausages like they make in the french Carribeans, to be served warm. So we were able to admire the pristine white walls in truly excellent conditions.

And you have just been introduced to the magic concept of “apéro dînatoire” — a pre-dinner drink with so many accompanying nibbles it simply cancels out dinner!

White Bean and Nut Butter Dip

– a small can (400 g) of white beans
– 1 Tbsp peanut butter
– 1 Tbsp sesame butter (a.k.a. tahini or tahina)
– the juice of a lime
– 4 sun dried tomato halves
– 2 squirts of chili sauce
– 2 splashes of Worcestershire sauce

Drain the white beans, reserving the liquid for later. In a food processor, combine the white beans with the nut butters and the lime juice. Blend until smooth. If you find the mixture a bit too thick, add a little of the reserved bean liquid until the desired consistency is reached.

Add the tomatoes and the chili and Worcestershire sauces, mix again. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Try not to overmix, it’s nice if the sundried tomatoes remain in little pieces, not completely blended into the dip. Serve with little sticks of vegetables, toasts or crackers.

  • Ahh, I’ve said it before I’ll say it again– you have the luckiest neighbors dans le monde– les vaches!

  • nattie

    I’ve been wondering – are Trish Deseine’s books available in English translation? You refer to them so often and the recipes in them sound so good that I’m sorely tempted, but I don’t really think that poor Ben or the hypothetical future children are quite up to following recipes in French yet ;-) (It seems a little selfish to get a cookbook only I can follow!)

    As for the semoule that we had some weeks back (oops, I’m bad at replying to replies!), it turned out very nicely and has been happily accepted into repertoire, waiting its turn to be back on the weekly dinner plan sometime in the nearish future.

  • kelli ann

    this is one of my wild ideas.
    1)cooking workshops for kids and
    2)eventually a cookbook, but oh so much more than (i.e. the science of cooking, etc.)

    just got a cookbook from the library inspired by the books for kids by roald dahl. it is fantastic!! but i digress, again.

    can you tell me the editor of Trish Deseine’s books? I’ll try to pick them up in Mtl.

    feelin’ pretty inspired, once more. thanks for posting so often in your fantastic blog!

  • Alisa

    whoa! with your “additions” that sounds so great.

  • kitten

    This sounds yummy! And reminds me abit of this pasta sauce from a mollie katzen book I learned long ago made with nut butter and miso-my favorite combination being almond and sesame mixed with some hot water and red miso, with some garlic and ginger added in-so great on so many things….

  • Dana

    First time commentator, but frequent reader of your blog, Clotilde. Love your writing and your affection for cooking! Just wanted to comment that your white bean and nut butter recipe reminds me of hummos, a middle-eastern treat, made in a very similar fashion with garbanzo beans (chick peas), sesame paste (tahini), garlic and lemon. So many versatile things to do with nut butters (other than just eat them straight, which is good too :-)

    Also, you can find some of Trish Deseine’s books in English via amazon.com, although it doesn’t look like the newest one is available yet. Here’s a link:


  • Hi Clotilde,
    Thanks for your recipe.
    I”ve tried it tonight using some white beans David bought some time ago and it was really good. Very unusual and tasty. I”ve used 1 tsp. of sesame oil instead of the tahini as I don”t have any (by the way where do you buy it ?). We had it with a home-made Tzatziki and some toasted Italian bread in front of the TV.

  • Bluepoppy – My neighbor Stéphan cooks wonderfully well (with Moroccan influences), so it’s a win-win situation, really! :)

    Nattie and Kelli Ann – Trish’s books (except the last one, which has just been published in France) have been translated (I want chocolate, Cooking with friends, Real life cooking and Party food). In France, the publisher is Marabout. The English versions seem to have been published by different publishers, they’re all available on Amazon for instance.

    Kitten – Wow, this sauce sounds excellent! I’ll have to look for the recipe and try it…

    Dana – Yes, I make hummus often too and love it! Somehow the white beans result in a more mellow taste than chickpeas, I think. Let me know what you think if you try it!

    Pascale – Delighted that you and David liked it! And I buy tahini at the organic store (like Naturalia…), they have all kinds of great nut butters : almond, pecan, walnut…

  • great idea, Clotilde. I like beans, I like peanut butter (another Reese’s-philia here!), and I like tahini, but adding dried tomatoes and chili seems to make it a truly extraordinary taste….
    I would like to see what else Trish Deseine had to offer in her latest book, so if you try some other things do get back to us please!

    Speaking of humus, the pairing with dried tomatoes somehow reminded me of the sandwiches I was served today: those were with humus and black olives, and tasted really good.

  • josie

    Mm, any sauce or dip with peanut butter in it does it for me…

  • Chika – Count on me, I will report back! :) And hummus with olives sounds like a very good idea… Sort of a hummus/tapenade combo!

  • hmm this all sounds so good. I am getting hungry just reading about all of this food. I have a recipe with sundried tomatoes that I make that is similar – except I use yellow split peas and soaked pine nuts. Here it is:
    This dip is one of my favorites. It’s hearty and delicious. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s good for you either. The pine nuts and sundried tomatoes give the dip a slightly sweet taste balancing the peas and the garlic nicely. It pairs great with vegetable crudite, chips/crackers or even as a spread on a sandwich or veggie burger in lieu of mayonnaise.

    1/2 cup cooked yellow split peas
    1/2 cup + 2 tblsp pine nuts, soaked preferably overnight
    6 sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil and patted dry with a paper towel)
    1 bay leaf
    2 basil leaves
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup purified water
    1 large clove garlic, minced

    Place pine nuts in a glass bowl covered with purified water. Let soak as long as possible.
    Put split peas and bay leaf into a saucepan with 2 cups purified water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 25 minutes.
    Drain peas and transfer to a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Drain pine nuts and discard the water. Then, add pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, basil leaves, and garlic to the bowl. With the blade running, slowly pour in the olive oil and water through the feeder spout. Pulse into smooth.

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