Dips, condiments, and sauces are some of life’s greatest pleasures, if you ask me. In all honestly, I only eat solid food at parties because people generally frown upon you sticking your entire hand in the dip bowl and licking it off like a cat. Fine. Tortilla chips it is, dip Nazi.
Whenever I play the “what would you have for your last meal?” game with people I realize about halfway through I’m only naming foods that are best when dunked in sauce. My favorite part about that game is you don’t have to worry about the inevitable aching belly that comes with ingesting gallons of condiments…you’re already dead at the end! It’s a win win.
Anyway, Superbowl Sunday was last weekend, you may have heard, so it wasn’t really about whether I’d make a dip but which one. I decided on this subtle, creamy white bean dip after being inspired by Serious Eats and it turned out really well. It had the consistency of hummus and didn’t make you feel like you needed a nap after you ate it. It was great with both pita and raw vegetables.
But in reality, after this weekend I’d advise not bringing it to a party where it will be served alongside bacon-and-cream-cheese-stuffed croissants, homemade guac, and actual shrimp and grits.I mean, it’s just bean dip, it’s not a magic trick.
CREAMY WHITE BEAN SPREAD
makes about 2.5-3 cups
2 (15oz.) cans white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 head roasted garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon, squeezed
2 stems rosemary, leaves pulled and chopped
4 stems thyme, leaves pulled and chopped
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
***For serving: pita bread, 5 stalks celery, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, etc.
1. First roast the garlic – preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel all the excess skin off of a bulb (not a single clove, a whole bulb) of garlic but leave the bulb itself intact. Using a sharp knife, cut off the very tips of the garlic so the garlic flesh is exposed. Place the bulb on a sheet of tin foil then drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top. Wrap the whole thing tightly with foil then stick in the oven (on a baking sheet or directly on the rack is fine.) Roast for about 40 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant and very tender. Remove and let cool.
Note: Garlic this way is EXCELLENT on sliced bread or in pasta, FYI.
2. In a food processor, combine the beans, lemon juice, herbs, salt, and pepper. Squeeze the cloves of garlic out of their skins over the bean mixture and season liberally with salt and pepper. Blend for about 3o seconds then add in the olive oil – drizzle through a spout if you have the option or just in 2 or 3 installments if you don’t. After a minute or two the dip will become smooth and creamy.
Notes: You can serve with plain pita or make your own pita chips: cut pita bread into triangles, brush with a bit of olive oil and dried basil and bake for about 8 minutes at 425 degrees. Watch them, these suckers will burn the second you look away!