White Bean Dip with Roasted Garlic Gremolata

Preparation info

  • Makes about

    1½ cups

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

Gremolata is a combination of minced garlic, parsley, and lemon zest traditionally used to garnish osso buco in Milan. We make it with garlic that’s been roasted to tame and sweeten its flavor. Then we fold the gremolata into pureed white beans—a low-calorie way to pack a high-flavor punch. The vegetables we suggest below are only that—suggestions. Buy whatever you find in season and arrange a colorful presentation.


  • 6 garlic cloves, loose skins removed, thin skin left on, drizzled or brushed very lightly with olive oil
  • cup (packed) flat-leaf parsley, roughly cut up
  • 2 strips (2 × ¾ inch each) lemon zest, cut up
  • 1 can (19 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, or cups cooked dried beans
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


    1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Place the garlic cloves in a pie plate and roast until garlic is soft when pierced with a knife, 12 to 15 minutes. Do not brown. Cool the garlic slightly. Slip off peels and trim hard ends. There should be about 2 tablespoons.
    2. Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley and lemon zest in a food processor. Remove and reserve a spoonful of this mixture for garnish. Add the beans, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and the roasted garlic. Process until blended and fairly smooth.
    3. Place the bean dip in a bowl and serve surrounded with fresh vegetables. If not serving immediately, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the dip and refrigerate. Just before serving, sprinkle the reserved parsley-lemon mixture on top.