White Bean Spread with Basil and Prosciutto
- 1-pound dried white beans such as Great Northern or Navy
- 2 tablespoons salt (for quick soaking of beans)
- 1/4-pound thin slice prosciutto
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil, or basil and parsley mix
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons minced chives, garlic chives if you have them
- 2 teaspoons smoked or Kosher salt, or more to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Quick soak beans by putting them in a large pot with 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and 10 cups of cold water and bringing to a boil over medium heat. Boil 1 minute. Off heat. Cover and let soak for 1 hour. Drain and add enough fresh water to cover by one inch. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about ½ hour. Drain, reserving cooking liquid Cool at least 30 minutes before processing.
While beans are soaking, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Separate and place prosciutto slices on a rack placed over solid baking sheet. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes. Cool and chop or crumble into bits. Reserve in tightly sealed container in refrigerator.
Place beans in processor and process until very smooth, adding ½ cup or more of cooking liquid as needed, 2 or 3 minutes. Add basil, lemon juice, chives and salt and pulse to combine. With processor running, drizzle in olive oil until incorporated. Chill until serving time.
Top with crumbled prosciutto.