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White Butter Bean, Feta and Za’atar Spread

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White Butter Bean, Feta and Za’atar Spread

White Butter Bean, Feta and Za’atar Spread
Jonathan Lovekin
Provided by:
total prep
This simple but wonderful dish, made with goat cheese and served with freshly baked flat bread, is sure to delight any party.

Recipe from Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume by Silvena Rowe/Ecco, 2011.


  • 1 cup cannellini beans, soaked overnight in water, drained and peeled
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large garlic head, cut in half
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 small lemon (juice only)
  • 5 ounces crumbled feta
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon Za’atar


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Bring a saucepan of water to boil and add the peeled beans. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes until the beans are soft and mushy, then season. Cool, drain, then process to a rough puree.
  • Meanwhile, place the garlic on a small baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil and roast until soft, about 45 minutes. Cool, then squeeze the garlic out of its skin and add to the mashed beans. Stir half the olive oil into the bean mixture. Mix in the lemon zest and juice. Then add the feta, mint and cumin, stirring until you have a rough chunky puree, and season.
  • Place in a serving dish, drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and sprinkle with the za’atar. Serve with flat bread.