Make your own crisp Parmesan crackers to serve with this tasty dip.
¼ cup olive oil
2 large fennel bulbs, tops trimmed and fronds reserved
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary or thyme
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 x 400 gram tin cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped basil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Thinly slice the fennel and place in a large sauté pan with the olive oil, rosemary and garlic and a good pinch of salt. Cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fennel has softened but is not coloured.
Add the chicken stock and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until very tender. Add the white beans, lemon zest and juice and cook for a few minutes to infuse the flavours. Remove from the heat and cool until just warm. Tip into a food processor with the Parmesan and basil. Season and process to a coarse texture.
Transfer to a shallow serving dish and drizzle with a little olive oil, a grind of pepper and the reserved fennel fronds.