Recipe of the Week – Tuscan White Bean Dip

Party Pleaser

whitebeandip

Photo: d. king

Here’s a foolproof simple, healthy happy hour dip.  It’s a creamier and delicious alternative to hummus.

  • 1 (14-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • roughly 1/3 cup olive oil, plus a little extra to drizzle over top
  • 1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Course Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (you can also use oregano – fresh or dried)
  • a little sprinkle of cayenne
  • *Zaatar (optional but worth it if you can find it)

Tip: if you want a thicker consistency you can always add some Tahini (sesame seed paste used for making hummus) or less olive oil.  Play around with it.  It will be great either way.

Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the food processor or blender. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl. Garnish with rosemary and/or other spice.

**ZAATAR (an exotic middle eastern spice mix made of sumac (from a flowering plant), thyme, roasted sesame seeds, marjoram, oregano, course salt. FYI: also great sprinkled over plain olive oil & balsamic for dipping.

Serve with pita, tortilla chips or fresh crusty french bread.

Sidenote: I have this thing for lazy susans.  My fridge is full of them – it makes life easier if you have lots of jars, condiments + such.  Now I bought a large round bamboo serving dish which I place overtop one of my lazy susans to place a variety of stuff on when company comes over.  People don’t have to reach over you to get another slice of cheese or whatever…they can just rotate the tray towards them.  I think it’s a better serving alternative.

Food: make a Super Bowl of creamy Three-Cheese Artichoke Dip

Artichoke dip is popular for good reason: it’s a bubbly, cheesy crowd-pleaser.

 Photograph: Jennifer Olvera

Photograph: Jennifer Olvera


                                                                                                           And if you’re watching football, it’s essential to have the perfect dip on hand. When tensions are running high, you need to be able to reach your chip into a delicious dip without peeling your eyes away from the screen. You need to know it’ll be just right: gooey, satisfying, and deeply flavorful.  Okay, I admit I’m not even a big football fan I just like to look at what the players are wearing and watch the commercials but I’m certainly game for this dip.

Note: Leftovers are tasty tucked into skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts. Just slice chicken horizontally down the center until you can open it like a book. Fill with about 1 ½ tablespoons of artichoke dip, and roast in a preheated, 375°F oven until an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F, 30-35 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ scant teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup Romano cheese, grated
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese
  • Pita, warmed and cut into wedges

Procedures

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Beat cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, onion powder, paprika and salt in a large bowl using a hand-mixer set to medium speed until fluffy and thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, fold in Parmesan, Romano, artichokes and garlic. Spray a 9” x 13” baking pan with cooking spray and spread mixture evenly in pan. Sprinkle with mozzarella.

Place in oven and bake until heated through, bubbly and lightly browned, 30-35 minutes. Serve immediately with pita for dipping.

Superbowl Sunday is February 1st

Source: Jennifer Olvera is the author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Chicago, and she has all-but tested and developed recipes since toddlehood. She writes the Sunday Supper column for Serious Eats and regularly contributes food features to Chicago Sun-Times. She can often be found tending her garden, canning and traveling to far-flung destinations, where she writes about local edibles for pubs like Los Angeles Times and Frommers.com.