Cannellini Bean Spread Recipe

I wrote and rewrote this paragraph four times (Can you see the groove the delete key has made?), and each time I failed to capture just exactly what I want to say. So, at the risk of sounding like an infatuated, love-struck married woman, I’m just gonna put it out there:

Chef Kurtis Jantz: honey, you’re a tease.

On a Mexican beach last year, I met Chef K of the Trump International Beach Resort in Miami. But before you start imagining things, it was a business-ish trip to the Club Med Food and Wine Festival; my husband knew I was there; and if I really was bad, WOULD I TELL YOU ABOUT IT???



Cannellini Bean Spread Recipe

I’m used to classifying chefs by the food they specialize in: Italian, German, Sushi, etc. With Chef K, I stuck a mental sticky label on him as an upscale, frou frou chef. I mean, Trump International Beach Resort? Like I could ever afford that.

We sat down for dinner and he brought out a basket of fresh bread and a ramekin of the most fabulous garlicky, creamy spread. Rare, expensive foie gras from a beer-fed, hand-massaged goose? Freshly uncovered truffle shavings? Smoked roe from some fancy fish found only in the rainforests of Pakistan? Come on, Chef, gimme the secret!

“Beans. Cannellini. You can use canned if you want.”

OK, so I misread the guy. But then every dish that came after the “Beans. Cannellini.” was like, wow, how did you do that? A crab cake that looked like a crab cake, but puff! It was really made out of foam! A flexible, translucent, thin gel was made out of white chocolate. Chef K’s chicken noodles were out of this world. The noodles were made out of concentrated chicken broth and gelatin, squeezed out of a syringe. Cool.

He’s part mad scientist (In his recipes, he refers to water as “H2O,” and his kitchen has more medical and scientific equipment than a doctor’s office) and part just ordinary. He’s a down-to-earth guy who just knows good food. You can read about their kitchen adventures at Sous Chef Chad’s popular blog, Chadzilla.

If you happen to be in the Miami area, I totally recommend eating at Neomi’s restaurant inside the Trump Resort in Sunny Isles. Contrary to what I thought, the meal is a steal. On Fridays, when they have their special Paradigm Test Kitchen menu, it’s $85 for a 10-course meal. And they only allow 10 people to participate in that special dinner (the rest of the restaurant is open for regular dinners, but if you’re going to Trump, why be regular?) You’ll experience Chef K’s team of mad scientists’ creations.

When I brought my husband and friends to Neomi’s a couple of months ago, we gave Chef K, Chef Chad and pastry Chef Fabian a standing ovation at the end of the meal.

Truly magnificent.

And yeah, I know that one of my “Good Intentions” for 2009 was to eat out less and here I am telling you drive to Miami to dine. My response? The same as all of my other excuses to break New Year’s resolutions: “But this is different!” or “Just this once.”

Or I could be a really good girl and just give you Chef K’s recipe for his “Beans. Cannellini.” spread.

Kurtis boils dried cannellini beans for the recipe, but I’ve found that the canned stuff is 1) just as good; 2) doesn’t require hours of soaking; and 3) is easy to store in my pantry for last-minute prep. Make sure you drain the beans first, rinse them in cool water to refresh, and drain again. This spread is great on slices of baguette or pita triangles. Add more olive oil, puree to a thinner consistency and it becomes my kids’ favorite dip for carrots and celery.

Cannellini Bean Spread Recipe

Recipe from Chef Kurtis Jantz of Trump International Beach Resort in Miami

4 ounces olive oil, good quality
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, small, diced
15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 ounce parsley leaves, rough chopped
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper, fresh-ground, to taste

In a medium, tall-sided sauce pot, add olive oil and heat on high until just below the smoking point. Remove from the heat and carefully add minced garlic. As soon as you smell the aromatics of the garlic (you do not want the garlic to get overly brown), add the tomatoes and stir well. Return pot to the stove over medium heat and add cannellini beans. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from stove, and let cool slightly. Fold in parsley. Using blender or food processor, pulse blend just until the beans are broken up but not pureed, leaving some texture. You can add more olive oil to the mixture if you like it thinner. Cool to room temperature and serve.

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Comments 36

  1. Jan

    Yum! Your vegan friend thanks you for the PERFECT Cannellini bean spread recipe for sourdough baguette that I am making almost everyday. Happy New Year, dear!

  2. Kristin

    Your photo … the one at the top… is possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all day. Who knew you could make Cannellini BEANS look so sexy? You should check out Michel Richard’s book Happy in the Kitchen. He’s sort of like a mad scientist also. He likes to play with gelatin and saran wrap. He even makes fake eggs.

  3. Gera

    It happens often to everybody to re-rewrite a paragraph but the result is perfect and especially with this Cannellini recipe so delicious appetizer!
    Have a Great 2009 Jaden!

    Gera .:. sweetsfoods

  4. Luna Pier Cook

    I know if you wre a bad girl at Club Med like you’ve been implying you might tell an old friend … πŸ˜‰

    I wonder if Trump eats this stuff?

  5. alina

    Wow…this sounds so good. A great story behind it and a fabulous chef that created it…I can’t wait to try it. What gives it the orange-ish/reddish color? Is it just the tomatoes slightly blended?

  6. Jill

    Cannellini beans are so versatile – this recipe looks amazing! I’ve never seen 8-oz. cans, though. I’ve only seen your average 14.5-oz. can or sometimes the 19-oz.

  7. Nellie Gatewood

    I make something like this quite often. A good quality Parmigiano Reggiano is a nice addition if you want something hearty. A squeeze of lemon brightens it up some.

  8. sharon

    I’m a little obsessed with cannellini beans of late so this is perfect! I might like to try these with basil instead of parsley.

  9. mikky

    and i thought i’ll see some of the teasing pictures here…lol… amazing spread… totally awesome!!! πŸ™‚

  10. j biesinger

    I have a recipe from David Rosengarten that is similar (white bean spread on toast). You start cooking bacon, add a pinch of rosemary to the fat and fold in the beans, mashing them slightly. Same concept but I’ll bet much more rich and decadent.

  11. Chez Us

    Jaden, this looks & sounds fantastic! I am always looking for new appetizers and will be adding this to our mix!

    White beans must have been the go-to staple this week, have seen tons of them out there in the foodie world! πŸ˜‰

  12. Dirtykitchensecrets

    My hubby would looooove this cannellini spread! I used to live close to sunny Isles….the trump tower… the beach! Oh it’s miserably cold here…. I miss florida! What a wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  13. Rachelle

    I made this earlier this week and it was FABULOUS! Thank you very much! It even impressed my very non-bean-loving father. So yummy! I plan to make it every week.

  14. laretta

    This recipe is awesome! I already made it twice this week. The second time I added a little hot pepper oil for some extra kick.

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