White Bean and Mint Spread

Mint is such a magical herb. Delicious on its own in tea or when combined with an endless variety of fruits, vegetables, and proteins, mint add that special something to so many dishes.

When serving our new favorite mint-mango lamb dish this week, even the vegetarians gobbled down the sauce! My mother-in-law made a keen culinary observation: thought mint and mangoes are both common in Indian cuisine, she had never thought of combining them before because the tastes seem so disparate. But somehow it just works. I think that is what mint does, it just works. With anything.

While the mint-mango sauce is definitely on the thick and rich side, this white bean and mint spread is decidedly light. It is always a favorite when I serve tapas, but would also make a great starter for a light spring or summer meal.


  • a can of white (cannellini) beans
  • one garlic clove
  • one white onion
  • a small handful of mint
  • white sesame seeds
  • olive oil
  • one lemon
  • cumin
  • coriander
  • freshly ground pepper
  • salt


  1. Finely chop one clove of garlic and half of a white onion and add to a blender, magic bullet, or food processor.
  2. Remove the mint leaves from the stems and add to the garlic and onions.
  3. Drain the liquid from the beans and add to the mix along with a teaspoon of sesame seeds.
  4. Blend everything to a rather fine, but not perfectly smooth, puree.
  5. Transfer the puree to a bowl and add a teaspoon each of cumin and coriander, a half teaspoon of salt and pepper, and the juice of one lemon.
  6. Stir in the spices and then add the olive oil in parts, mixing after each addition.
  7. Allow the spread to rest before serving so the flavors can meld.
  8. Serve with small toasts or crostini.