Saturday, August 6, 2016

It's bean dip, not hummus

I love white beans, though usually I have them in an Italian dish, like one of the many tuna & white bean salads I make in the summer (that's one of Nexx's favorite dishes).

I totally stole this idea from my favorite neighborhood bar, when I saw it on their menu. I've had hummus, of course, I've even made some, and I've had both fava beans and black beans as dips and enjoyed them, so why not cannellini?

Note I do not refer to items that aren't made from chick peas and tahini as hummus. It drives me batshit when people do. It's like calling a round piece of bread with a hole in it a bagel when it wasn't boiled before baking. End rant. 

It was easy to find the recipe that I'm blogging about this week. Giada di Laurentis has some great recipes, and the ingredient list is simple:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons (for those four tablespoons I added truffle oil, though I think I should have used more)
  • 1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 pitas
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

I used a bit more garlic than called for (raise your hand if you're surprised). 

Our instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. (I'm lucky enough to have a stick blender and it worked just fine). 

Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.

Cut each pita in half and then into 8 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges on a large baking sheet. Pour the remaining oil over the pitas. Toss and spread out the wedges evenly. Sprinkle with the oregano, salt, and pepper. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until toasted and golden in color.

Serve the pita toasts warm or at room temperature alongside the bean puree.
When I had blended everything, it had tasted kind of bland to me. Totally my bad for not trusting the recipe and giving the flavors time to blend. I added a bit more lemon, and well, I kind of overdid it. I served it with red peppers as well as pita. The picture below is our gaming table set up for company.

My company agreed that it was a bit heavy on the lemon. I think I'm going to need to play with this a little bit before I find it perfect. I really liked the lemon with the red peppers, though.

About truffle oil--it's an indulgence and I don't use it very often, even though it is pretty versatile. Salads, pasta, sandwiches, and you only need a little bit. My current bottle came as a gift for my 50th (how the hell did that happen?) birthday. I poked around Amazon, and this is one of the of the highest rated for under $20. 

Questions, comments? Let's hear them!

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