Cannellini, feta and tomato dip

A delicious white-bean dip, packed with vibrant flavour – no cooking required.


I’m always happy making the kind of food that emerges from a bit of creative foraging in the fridge and pantry. Here, a tin of cannellini beans – always and endlessly useful – get some fine support from a chunk of feta and some sun-dried tomatoes from a jar. No cooking is required, just a whizz through the processor, so it’s perfect as speedy, impromptu snack.

Serve it however you like: crackers, crudités or, as I do, on slices of baguette brushed with olive oil and toasted on a baking sheet in a 200°C (400°F) oven for 15 minutes. It’s also delicious as a sandwich spread or as a condiment with burgers.

Adding a teaspoon or two of finely chopped fresh oregano is a nice addition if you have it to hand, but I wouldn’t buy it specially nor substitute dried.

All the flavours will develop and deepen if you can give the dip some time in the fridge between the making and the eating, anywhere from half an hour to a whole day.

Cannellini, feta and tomato dip


Makes about 2 cups.

440g (14 oz) can cannellini beans
75g (3 oz) feta
50g (2 oz) sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed, not dry)
1 clove garlic
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
60ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
60ml (¼ cup) water

Drain and rinse the cannellini beans and tip them into a food processor. Crumble in the feta, and add the tomatoes, garlic and a good grinding of black pepper. Pulse to combine until a rough paste forms.

Add the lemon juice and olive oil, running the processor to blend. Add the water to loosen the mixture up – you may not need all of it, so add a tablespoon at a time until you reach a consistency you like.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with lemon juice or pepper to your liking. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate, letting the dip to come back to room temperature before serving.