Roasted Fennel, Garlic & White Bean Crostini

roasted garlic, fennel & white bean dip

It’s party time people. Swanky part time.

We’re talking bow ties, Louboutins, diamonds – the works. Pinkies up.

fennel & garlic, pre-roasting

At least this is where my mind wanders to when I hear words like “crostini” and “canapes”.

Does this really have to be the case though? Can’t we just eat fancy, without having to be fancy? Maybe even get some elegant flavor from humble ingredients?

fennel & garlic, post-roasting

I say yes!

I will still take some Louboutins though… if someone is just handing them out (maybe these? or these?).

fennel & garlic, aftermath

No? Ok, back to reality.

A delicious reality. And a simple one, too. One where we take common ingredients like garlic and fennel, and bring them to a whole other level of flavor simply by roasting them. Then combine them with a can of white beans, a touch of rosemary, and lemon juice.

At this point, you could eat it straight out of the food processor, in your pajamas, while watching The Chew. No judgement here.

Or, you could dollop it on some crostini, garnish with a fennel frond, and serve them up at a fancy food, non-fancy attire cocktail party like we did over the weekend.

roasted fennel, garlic & white bean crostini, spiced mixed nuts, and olives

parmesan & thyme crackers, and a centerpiece

bacon jam crostini & blood orange cocktail

Then, you eat the leftovers the next morning in your pajamas while watching The Chew. If I wasn’t having the party, I would’ve just skipped the whole crostini thing… and then there would’ve been a food processor in my lap. If you’re going to go this route, might I recommend those new Roasted Tomato Kettle Chips for dipping? Unbelievable.

By the way, I feel like I should mention that I murdered my fry thermometer at said cocktail party. There was a saga involving onion rings that needed some serious batter adjustment, so by the time I finally got a successful batch I was so excited to sit down and eat some that I kind of left the pot of oil on the stove with the burner on pretty high. I returned to a kitchen filled with smoke and a fry thermometer that had exploded in the extreme temperatures of the oil.

It’s not a party until you nearly kill all your guests, right? RIGHT?! Well, at least that one batch tasted really good.

roasted fennel, garlic & white bean crostini

Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is whether you’re eating it in your pajamas with chips or at a semi-fancy, nearly-murderous cocktail party on crostini, this dip/spread is delicious!

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Roasted Fennel, Garlic & White Bean Crostini

This recipe is for crostini, but the fennel mixture also makes a great hearty dip for chips, pita bread, crackers, pretzels, etc.

Ingredients

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole head garlic, top 1/2 inch cut off
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, quartered, root cut out (reserve fronds for garnish)
  • 15 ounce can cannellini beans (or other white bean), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for roasting
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 baguette, for crostini

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the garlic in a piece of foil on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal the foil. Place the fennel quarters on the same baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 40-45 minutes, turning the fennel once or twice, until well caramelized.
  2. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skin and into a food processor. Add the fennel, beans, rosemary, lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste. Process until well combined, but not a completely smooth puree.
  3. Lower the oven to 350 degrees F. To prepare the crostini, cut a baguette into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices and place on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the bread is a light golden brown.
  4. Right before serving, put about a tablespoon of the fennel mixture on each crostini. Garnish with a fennel frond.

Yields

About 1 3/4 cup fennel puree

http://kitchenetteblog.com/2012/03/roasted-fennel-garlic-white-bean-crostini/

Posted in: Appetizers, Beans & Legumes, Bread, Condiments, Party Fare, Spring, Vegetables, Vegetarian, Winter

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10 Responses to “Roasted Fennel, Garlic & White Bean Crostini”

  1. Jenn says:

    By the way, what are the delicious crostinis with the tomatoes on top???

    • brittany says:

      Boozy Bacon Jam from Spoon Fork Bacon! Sooooo good. I’ll be posting a recipe for a main course using bacon jam soon – I’m kind of re-obsessed since making it for this party!

  2. Kristen says:

    Yum! Love food that looks fancy!

  3. Oh yum! I love crostini, it does look fancy and there are so many possibilities. I love that you used cannelinis, instead of the traditional garbanzo beans in this – those are quickly becoming my new favorite variation on hummus. 🙂

  4. MaryCatherine says:

    Looks amazing as always- I need to remember not to read your blog while hungry. What are those tasty looking drinks? They look mighty good too?

    • brittany says:

      Thanks MC! Those delicious and very dangerous cocktails are the Blood Orange, Ginger Beer, and Tequila Cocktails from the Food Porn Daily Cookbook. Josh coined the term “blood sucker” cocktail because the actual name is way too long. He also decided it was the most delicious cocktail ever. I agree. I’ll have to post the recipe soon!

  5. Natalie says:

    I just bought fennel, and was wondering what I could do with it… Now I know! Think garbanzo beans would work instead of the white beans?

    • brittany says:

      I think you could use garbanzo beans, but you might need a little extra liquid – they’re a little more dense than cannellini beans.

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