Bean dips are one of my favorite appetizers because they are versatile, easy, and (usually) healthy. Just start with a can of your favorite beans, two or three herbs and spices you like, then add some olive oil and a little salt and some kind of pepper and you have the formula for a tasty snack or even a light lunch. Today a bean dip with pita was calling my name, so after finding the cannellini beans in the pantry, I whipped out the skillet and the food processor and had cannellini bean dip ready for lunch in about 10 minutes. This dip recipe uses fresh rosemary, sage, and garlic, and to extend the theme I made extra herbed oil and spread it on whole wheat pita then toasted it. I thought the combination was quite yummy, and so did my boys.
The full recipe makes about 3 cups of dip, but you can easily halve it for a smaller batch, and it will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.
This is my contribution to this week's installment of Weekend Herb Blogging, founded by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen. This week's host is Margot from Coffee & Vanilla, so be sure to check out her blog with the round-up next week!
Cannellini Bean Dip with Herbed Pita
- medium skillet
- food processor
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus 2 tablespoons)
- 3 garlic cloves (very finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
- 38 ounces canned cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 tablespoons water
- sea salt (to taste)
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 whole wheat pita (Or gluten-free pita. Make pita chips. See instructions below.)
- In the skillet, heat ¼ cup of the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the garlic, sage, and rosemary and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant and the garlic is just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Add the beans and toss to coat.
- Transfer the cannellini beans and oil mixture to the food processor. Add the water, season with salt and cayenne and process to a fairly smooth puree, about 2 or 3 minutes. Serve in a small bowl with the remaining olive oil drizzled on top.
- PITA CHIPS: To make plain pita chips, cut a round of pita into 4 to 8 slices and toast for 2 or 3 minutes in a toaster oven or on a baking sheet in the oven at 350° F. To make the herbed pita chips, make extra herbed olive oil mixture and brush it on top of the pita round. Cut into slices and toast as above.