Sunday, October 18, 2009

Simply Smashing White Bean Dip

Simply Smashing White Bean Dip
Made this dip for a party we went to today. It's hard to say whether it was a success or not. Some of it was eaten, certainly, but there was plenty left to take home. Of course, there was a ton of food at this get together. So much that whole sub-sections of party food neglected to make it onto my plate. Assuming that other people had a similar experience, I should take it as a positive sign that a few people did indeed try my dip. There was no real feedback other than from the Hubs; like when I turned around and saw him dipping the extra pieces of bread into the bowl of dip... before we'd left for the party. Uh, yes. He did.

I thought that this dip would be a perfect choice, given that the ingredients were few, and the technique simple (even considering that it involved the use of the food processor), and in addition, it sounded really tasty. All we needed at the store were beans and lemons. There wasn't time to cook the beans myself, so we bought a can of navy beans and a can of cannellinis. We also needed coffee and steel cut oats from the bulk bins. "Hey, we should get some dried beans to cook up for soup this week. We'll need carrots and celery for that too..."

Can you believe I forgot the lemons?* Don't answer that. Hubs graciously went back to the store while I started making the dip. He came back with eyes wide open. He'd never purchased lemons in a grocery store evidently. Why would you, when you know lots of people with lemon trees? Of course, when you move away, even a few miles, all of that is moot. The supermarket is closer than your old friends. What did you say? Why yes, we do have a lemon tree! Funny you mentioned it. The lemons on it don't seem to be getting any bigger or yellower though. They've been green so long that twice now I've accidentally referred to it as "the lime tree" and the Hubs had to correct me. Well, he came home with those pricey store-bought lemons and went straight past me to the back yard, where he proceeded to show them off to our lemon tree and yell "GROW FASTER!" at it. Really loudly.

Simply Smashing White Bean Dip
Adapted from: Rosemary-Lemon White Bean Dip by Mark Bittman

2 - 15 oz. cans of white beans (3 cups)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
3/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 Tblsp
1 "three-finger" pinch of salt, plus more to taste
3-4 grinds of black pepper
2 lemons, zested
1 good squeeze of lemon juice
1 Tblsp fresh rosemary, finely minced

Drain the two cans of beans and put them into the bowl of a food processor along with the garlic and salt. While the machine is running, drizzle the olive oil into it and continue processing until smooth. Taste the dip at this point, add the black pepper and any additional salt if needed. Pulse a couple of times to distribute the seasonings evenly. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the dip into a bowl and mix in the lemon zest, juice, rosemary and a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Garnish the bowl with a leftover sprig of rosemary and serve with raw veggies or little toasts (see notes).

Notes: Each 15 oz. can contained 1-1/2 cups of beans, drained. Since the original recipe called for 2 cups, and I had 3, I decided to make half a recipe more and use up all the beans. I kept all the other quantities pretty much the same except for the olive oil which I increased roughly by half. The Hubs sliced up a baguette I had bought at the farmer's market yesterday, sprayed the slices lightly with oil and popped them under the broiler for a few (watching the whole time and flipping them over once the first side started to get color).

*We were there for two items and I forgot one. Proof that my memory/retention is holding strong at 50%. Note to self: WRITE IT DOWN!... AND BRING THE LIST WITH YOU!
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