3 Doors Down Cafe’s White Bean and Fresh Herb Spread

22 Oct

This recipe is one of those food discoveries that, when revealed, makes you want to weep with joy. A few blocks from our house is a great little neighborhood restaurant by the name of 3 Doors Down. It’s a lovely place, featuring fantastic seasonal fare (a concept they’ve long embraced, far before it became a national trend), great wines, and an atmosphere that caters to both a nice family meal or a special evening out with friends.

That last point is a fairly spectacular achievement, and I give nothing but glowing reviews to 3 Doors Down for being so capable of meeting such disparate needs. On more than one occasion I have spotted a variety of simultaneous diners at 3 Doors Down that included a couple with a new baby snoozing away in an infant carseat, a table of six adults ordering wine two bottles at a time, several tables of dressed-up, cozy couples, and a party of three that included two adults and one bowtie-wearing six year-old (full disclosure: one of those tables was my household).

Every meal at 3 Doors Down is started with a dish of this superb white bean spread, accompanied by a plate of crusty bread. To illustrate its allure, picture this: when the aforementioned bowtie-wearing child was presented with a petite dish of the tasty spread, a single taste was all it took to hook him, and before long he began simply spooning the deliciousness into his mouth, forgoing the bread entirely. While all the food at 3 Doors Down is top notch, there cannot be enough fawning words dedicated to the creamy, flavorful white bean starter. So savory and rich, so wonderfully fresh and delicious, it is practically the definition of comfort found in a food. And the tear-inducing part? The recipe is available on their website, because that’s how great 3 Doors Down really is. Whip up a batch of it and you’ll see firsthand why my tears of joy were totally and completely justified.

Last Year: Cider Pressing and Two Kinds of Cupcakes

3 Doors Down Cafe’s White Bean and Fresh Herb Spread Recipe

I made this with freshly cooked beans, as called for in the recipe, but I see no reason why one couldn’t use canned cannellini beans if pressed for time.

2 cups dry cannellini beans

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons fresh garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped

2 pinches red chile flakes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Cover beans with water by two inches. Soak for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Drain beans. Put beans into saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook beans until tender, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Drain.

In separate saucepan melt butter over medium low heat and add all remaining ingredients, except for the olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent about 7 to 10 minutes. Add cooked beans. Mash or puree with a food processor or stick blender until chunky-smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove to a dish or bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with crusty bread.

Makes 4 cups.


12 Responses to “3 Doors Down Cafe’s White Bean and Fresh Herb Spread”

  1. emmycooks October 22, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    I have made a couple of disappointing white bean spreads recently but it sounds like simplicity is key. I’ll be trying again with this recipe and hoping that it will be equally delicious with all olive oil in place of the butter. 🙂

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide October 23, 2012 at 4:39 am #

    That looks amazing!

  3. heidi October 25, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    This looks like a great appetizer with the added benefit of protein. I think I’ll start bringing this to parties as a substitute for hummus, which is over-done around here. Thanks for the recipe.

    • savorysaltysweet October 25, 2012 at 8:06 am #

      We have a friend who is allergic to sesame seeds (I know–random, right?), so this spread gets carted out a lot when we know she’s going to be around. It’s a great alternative to hummus. I hope it serves you well!

  4. Marissa (@pinchandswirl) October 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    This looks fantastic. I’m laughing at your response to Heidi about a friend of yours being allergic to sesame seeds. My husband is allergic to chickpeas. Bummer, right? So I always make hummus with cannellini beans and now I have a new bean dip to try. Thanks!

    • savorysaltysweet October 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

      Chickpeas–another rare food allergy! That’s definitely not one I’ve heard of before, but I sympathize with your predicament.

      • Laurel Ni November 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

        I’m always looking for yummy dips/spreads without cheese for my lactose-intolerant friends. Have you ever used canned beans? Thanks for the recipe!

      • savorysaltysweet November 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

        Canned beans would work just fine here. Just be sure to rinse them off when you drain them from the can.

  5. carla November 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    This looks delicious- can’t wait to try it. I bet even my hubby would go for it!

  6. Melissa Burford November 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    I love different kinds of dips and spreads and am always looking for new ones. I can’t wait to make it and try it out.

  7. Jennifer V November 13, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    I love hummus, but I am always looking for alternatives. This looks delicious. I can’t wait to try this out.


  1. HodgePodge Catch Up. He Said Extra. | She Said, He Said: A Geezers Guide to PDX - November 12, 2016

    […] recipe for the bean spread is online, but I would suggest trying it in person. Then you can enjoy the entire menu.  Perfect Italian in […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: