Slice into the top of the whole head of garlic, removing just the tips of each clove by cutting at an angle (you just want the olive oil to be able to reach down into the garlic). Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil, leaving the top open. Liberally douse the garlic in the 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Generously salt and pepper the head of garlic. Close the foil and roast for 20 minutes (or more if you have time— I love it when the garlic begins to caramelize, up to 45 mins).
While the garlic is roasting, toast the fennel seeds and coriander seeds on medium-high heat in a dry sauté pan for 2-3 minutes. You will know they are ready when you can begin to smell them; your nose knows! Place the cooled seeds in a Ziploc bag and pound them a couple times with a jar or other sturdy kitchen hammer. You will be breaking them up just to release more of their fragrance. Set the seeds aside.
Rinse and drain the white beans. Shake the colander to get any excess water off. Let the beans continue to drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
When the garlic is browned to your liking, and cool enough to touch, squeeze the cloves into the food processor. Go ahead and also toss in any residual oil from the foil, it’s delicious and garlicky!
Add beans, lemon juice, rosemary, and 1/3 cup olive oil to the food processor and give it a whirl until everything is looking fluffy and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, place the pureed dip into a small bowl. Make a well in the middle with a spoon. Fill the well with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Enjoy with your favorite vegetable, or a spoon!
White beans are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium and conversely, are a great source of fiber, protein, iron, magnesium and folate. You just have to be sure to either soak and cook dried beans or rinse canned beans very well in order to remove their phytic acid which can rob your body of minerals. Soaking and cooking beans preserves the most nutrition, but do what times allows you! Plus, in this recipe, you are also incorporating several very beneficial carminatives: coriander, rosemary, fennel, and garlic which will aid your digestion of those tasty white beans and help reduce any gas or bloating.