White Bean Hummus with Garlic Confit

My paternal grandma was the first to introduce me to the wonderful world of Middle Eastern cuisine.  Many years later,  it was  a boy, Kaleel, who reignited my interest for the food...among other things.  We were young and, somewhat, in love. I was the ‘somewhat’ in that fleeting courtship.

Lest you think I'm the  proprietress of Heartbreak Hotel, I'll let you in on a secret, I'm actually highly sensitive—the type who'll cry over  tourism tv commercials. And if it's a local ad, well then I'm inconsolable.

No, I  liked Kaleel, who was a sweet, hopeless romantic,  frantically searching for his soul mate. Whereas my  interests, at that time, were fashion, friends, food and frolic. And the prospect of marriage somehow turned me into a tower of Jell-O.

Inevitably, the day finally came, when I carefully sidestepped his advances to fulfill my own search.  A search  of the bean dip variety—hummus, to be precise.

I'm in love with this stuff. And have always  preferred the less pungent taste of roasted garlic in my hummus.  So, while skimming through a cookbook recently,  my eyeballs landed on this tempting trifecta of whole garlic cloves, poached in olive oil and fresh herbs. And I fell, hard.

It still has the mellow flavor of roasted garlic, but with less waste. Plus the added bonus of a garlic and herb infused oil.  All this, with a sexy French accent.

Chef Al  and I suggest buying ready peeled garlic to double  up on the  recipe, without the angst of peeling a mountain of garlic cloves—which, you know I would do—but, I don't want to.

Use Confit  in pastas, vinaigrettes, pizzas,  toasted breads, and can't forget, hummus (following  Confit recipe).

Garlic Confit

3 garlic bulbs, stemmed and peeled (about 35 cloves)
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup olive oil
Salt  & freshly ground black pepper
2 stems fresh thyme, or 1 sprig fresh rosemary

Place garlic cloves, wine, ¼ cup water, and olive oil in a small skillet. Season with a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper. Tuck the herbs into the liquid, and bring to a simmer over low heat. Simmer until the water and wine evaporate, and the cloves are soft and golden in color, 30 to 40 minutes.  Store in  a sterilized jar for 2 weeks. Makes 1 cup.
Adapted from: Crescent City Cooking, by Susan Spicer

In this hummus, creamy Italian cannellini beans step in for the chickpeas, and tangoes with the Confit, for an international affair fare I'd be willing to commit to, and  I do.

White Bean Hummus with Garlic Confit

½ cup Garlic Confit
1 garlic clove, mashed
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed *
½ cup Tahini
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons oil from Garlic Confit

Place all ingredients  in the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth. Adjust with more salt or lemon juice to taste. Makes about 4 cups.

*I cooked my own cannellini beans  until tender, and reserved  some of the cooking water to thin out the hummus to desired consistency.

Hummus was served with homemade mini pitas, and crudités (carrot  leaves, jicama, celery and cucumber sticks).  I love tiny food, don't you?

Share it with your significant other. This way,  a breath mint will be deemed unnecessary.


  1. I am a big fan of garlic and hummus! That combination is just heavenly. Your mini pitas are fabulous too.



  2. Oh my gosh you are good.

    I love everything..Al.. how adorable! The carrot? leaves and their intricate detail..the details of your romance with Kaleel..the confit and the hummus..
    You're so good I want to have a book of your food photos:)

    Thank you..always a treat.

  3. Strikingly beautiful as always. The humus recipe looks so good. It may be dinner tonight. :-)

  4. You are such a romantic ... I love it! Looks like we both have garlic on the mind. Adore hummus, always have some on hand, and although have made many versions (roasted red pepper, lemon pepper, roasted garlic ... ) have never made it with cannellini beans. Count me in ... this sounds very tempting!

  5. Sol, you really should have a career as a food stylist. No one does it better than you.

    Your White Bean Hummus reminds me of a baked white bean, garlic and rosemary appetizer we get in a little Italian restaurant in Victoria.

    I'll have to make your version next time Matt and Dana visit. I know it will be a big hit.


  6. So your relationship with hummus has lasted much longer than Kaleel? Not a bad relationship, is Chef Al jealous?
    Hummus looks amazing! I'd expect no less, my friend :)

  7. I adore hummus! I will definitely be making this this weekend. Your photos are pure beauty!


  8. Marysol, I am just like you! I cry over ads and whenever I watch someone have a wish fullfilled I do too! What a gorgeous dip and I love the addition of the garlic confit!

  9. The garlic dude is so cute!

  10. Rosa, it's good to know you're a garlic fanatic. No wonder we're friends.

    Dear M, I just hope Mr. Kaleel never stumbles onto this blog, or he may think there's still hope.

    Cotehele, thank you kindly. I hope you'll enjoy both recipes as much as I do.

    Joey my friend, Kaleel would've considered me the antithesis of romance, so I'm glad I have you to back me up on this! Love, love.

    Dear Ann, I hope Matt and Dana like it; I know you have spoiled them with your wonderful cooking.

    Sweet Carol, chef Al is too self-absorbed in his own garlic miasma to think of anyone but himself. Which will make us even when I eat him.

    Nancy, I hope you'll make this soon.

    Lorraine, I'm a nanomillimeter away from springing a leak, so let me quickly add that I appreciate your soulfulness.

    Hi Jenna! The chef and I thank you!

  11. hi, a blog award is waiting for you on my blog

  12. I can't believe I just found out about poached garlic - twice in one week!

    First of all, I love to make my hummus with roasted garlic also and lots of lemon juice. Now, I will have to try it with poached garlic.

    Second, my most recent post calls for olive oil poached garlic in a relish for fish. I had never used this method before. Oh boy, does it make tasty oil for bread or pita dipping.

    Third, your post is delightful! You are such an artist with food, it's amazing, Sol. If Kaleel ever sees this post he'll be inconsolable.

  13. I love the look of the mini pitas, just perfect! I have some cooked navy beans in the fridge to make this with too, yum!

  14. Hi Frog in the cottage. And thank you for thinking of me!

    Susan, you temptress. I'll be right over.

    Maggie, try drizzling a little of the garlic-infused olive oil over the hummus—it'll make you sing :)

  15. I had to come back and peek..I always worry I have missed one of your posts...
    I do..

  16. Have I told you lately that I heart you?

  17. What a beautiful mini pitas, had to taste delicious with hummus :)

  18. I like the way you serve the hummus.Hummus has also been in my to-do list for some time now....

  19. Thank you all!

    Tigerfish, I hope you'll make hummus sometime, it has the potential to become addictive :)

  20. Wow! I always get so impressed whenever I come visit! This hummus, the mini-pitas and the garlic! You are the only person I know who makes her own mini-pitas; in Lebanon, bakeries sell them, but in the US I haven't seen them anywhere!