white bean dip with rosemary and sage

Well, hello there,  2014!!!  By my calculations, I’m only about two weeks late to the party, but, hey…life has a way of being lived sometimes and I have to admit there’s been little time for cooking AND photographing.  Just cooking, lately, and Brownie meetings to supervise, and piano lessons to patiently sit through, and puppy obedience classes to attend.  Also, believe it or not, it gets dark really early this time of year in the desert.  By 5:30, if I haven’t cooked, plated, and photographed, there’s just not enough natural light.

Ahhh, excuses, excuses, excuses.  Enough of that, on to the bean dip.

I made this for the first time on New Year’s Eve 2012.  It was a huge hit with our guests and, even though it was just going to be the three of us this year (one of whom wouldn’t touch the stuff with a ten foot pole), I decided to do it again for our New Year’s Day feast.  We already had too much food, but this dip is so good (and gets better with each passing day), I was happy to have the leftovers for some post-celebration snacking.  It’s low in fat, high in flavor (lots of garlic goodness), and a good source of protein and fiber from the beans.  It’s also really fast and easy to assemble.  Put it together the day before you plan to serve it for maximum flavor mingling!  (I hear there’s a big football game in the not-too-distant future).  Serve with the crackers or crudités of your choice.  Enjoy!!

White Bean Dip with Rosemary and Sage (recipe courtesy Cooking Light, Aug 2007)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
  • Fresh sage sprig (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Serve with pita wedges crackers, fresh veggies. Garnish with sage sprig, if desired.

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Roasted Garlic, Sun-Dried Tomato, and White Bean Dip

We had some friends in from Seattle over the New Year and I needed some snacky-type appetizers for the grazing while I worked on the crab cakes.  Mostly, I think the dips and crackers were more of a distraction so no one would notice I didn’t have a clue what I was doing with my crab cakes (which turned out amazingly well for a first-time effort, I might add).  Anyway, this was one of two bean dips I made and I have to say, as much as I liked this one, it wasn’t my favorite.  It needs some tweaking, I think.

What I’d change right off the bat is the amount of olive oil.  It only calls for two tablespoons, but because the recipe uses sun-dried tomatoes packed without oil, I found it a little too dry for my taste.  So I’d either add additional EVOO, or I’d opt for sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil to increase the moisture of the dip.

I might also shop a different brand of sun-dried tomatoes.  The ones I used must have had a higher sugar content because I did find this dip to be a little on the sweet side.  Just an FYI when purchasing ingredients.

If you’re not a huge garlic fan, don’t worry.  I love garlic but was leery of using an entire head of garlic for this recipes.  Fortunately, roasting garlic has the delightful effect of mellowing the flavor and virtually eliminating what some might perceive as pungent garlic overtones.  This dip won’t leave you with embarrassing garlic breath the next day (or, maybe it did and all of us had eaten so much of it we just didn’t offend each other).

Serve with pita wedges, Calabrese crackers, or fresh sliced veggies.  Enjoy!

Roasted Garlic, Sun-Dried Tomato, and White Bean Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole garlic head
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (3.5-ounce) package sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15.8-ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drainedDSC_4886

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Remove white papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap head in foil. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes; cool for 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins.
  3. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add tomatoes; cover and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Drain tomatoes in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup liquid.
  4. Place garlic pulp, tomatoes, 1/4 cup reserved liquid, oil, and remaining ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth.

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