I used dried cannellini beans because I had them in my pantry, but they took so long to boil and become tender (4 hours, which indicates that the beans were not fresh at all) that I'm just going to stick to canned beans instead. Nevertheless, this variation of hummus was delicious. Cannellini beans are very nutritious and contain lots of good protein and anti-oxidants that help boost your immune system. I'm all about beans now and have been slowly trying to introduce them to my cooking repertoire.
2 cups cannellini beans
Bouquet garni of celery, parsley, thyme and bay leaf
2 medium onions
Extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup tahini
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground
Fresh mint leaves for garnish
Pita bread, crostinis or baguette
Soak beans overnight in water to cover. The next day, bring and put them in large heavy bottomed pot.
Add bouquet, onions and carrots, peeled and cut into chunks. Cover and bring to boil, letting it boil for 10 minutes and removing any foam that rises to the surface. After beans soften in an hour or so, add generous amount of salt and continue to cook gently until very tender, 2-3 hours total.
Puree beans with garlic, tahini, fennel seeds and lemon juice, adding salt and pepper to taste. You may want to add more lemon or tahini depending on your personal taste. Finish with a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and slivers of mint leaves. Serve with toasted crostinis or pita bread.