Friday, July 8, 2011

White Bean Dip

In honor of my mother-in-law purchasing a food processor, I am about to bring you a string of recipe posts involving this favorite piece of kitchen equipment.

I love this recipe because it can be thrown together really quickly (as long as we have white beans in the freezer*), and we can dip veggies and/or bread in it and call it a complete meal.  It's also an easy dish for a party.  You can also use it as a sandwich spread.  I've adapted it from here (the old blog of a friend). 

You can also use canellini beans, but great northern beans are what I always find.

Ingredients:
pint jars of great northern beans (or 2- 15oz cans), rinsed
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 jalapeño pepper
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. sun-dried tomato (preferably packed in oil, otherwise plunk them in boiling water for a bit)
2Tbsp drained capers
Juice of 1 lime
1tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp dried oregano (or 2Tbsp fresh)
1/2tsp fresh-ground pepper
salt, if you desire (I don't find it necessary, since the capers are pretty salty, plus that whole low sodium diet thing)

Instructions:
-Preheat the oven to 400°
-In a small oven-safe dish (I usually use a pie pan or a Pyrex container), toss the garlic cloves and the whole jalapeño with 2Tbsp of the olive oil and place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the jalapeño is soft and light golden brown.
-Slice the jalapeño in half and remove the stem and seeds
-Fit a food processor with the metal blade attachment, add all the ingredients to the bowl of the processor, and puree until smooth.

P.S.  Someday I might add pictures.  Or you can send me yours.  It's really yummy.

*A quick note on freezing beans:  fill your jar to the freezing line with beans and then pour in cooking broth to the line as well.  Then, if you want the skin of the beans to maintain their structure, add acid - a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of vinegar.  If you are going to make a dip, you can add a base - baking soda is what I would use.  We always add acid because we don't generally know what we're going to use frozen beans for and I'd rather not have mushy beans where whole beans are desired, and the skin still breaks down just fine for a dip.

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