It’s Party Time at The Heritage Cook – Happy Festive Friday everyone! Let’s start the weekend off right with a great dip that would be perfect with a bottle of beer, glass of wine, or anything you like. And everyone will be able to enjoy it – even the most ardent vegetarians! Made with canned beans and roasted red bell peppers, it is as easy as can be.
I love having ingredients in the pantry that I can use to whip up a last minute dish if needed. This dip is one that is made mostly from pantry items, so you can make it any time of the year. If you like hummus, you’ll like this. And if bell peppers aren’t up your alley, go ahead and leave them out. It will still be good.
I have written this recipe as a dip, but it is exceptionally flexible. It is wonderful spread on lightly baked slices of baguette as a base for bruschetta. Try it as a spread on a sandwich with grilled veggies or maybe roast beef. What else can you think of? Let’s get creative!
You can serve this with any of the usual suspects – crackers, veggies, or chips – but I really like it with pita chips. Made from pita breads that have been cut into triangles, they add a wonderful crunch. Of course you can buy them, but you can also make them yourself if you want. Stack several pitas and cut in half, and then cut each half in half. Keep cutting each section in half until you get the size you like. Spread them out on a baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with some salt and seasonings of your choice. I like a little cumin, maybe some oregano or thyme, garlic or onion powder, and of course rosemary is always a winner. Then pop them in the oven and bake until crispy and lightly toasted. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. Let them cool and you have pita chips without all the additives and preservatives!
Most grocery stores are carrying pita bread now, but if you can’t find them, try looking in the “foreign foods” aisle. Sometimes they are found there. And of course, if you have specialty shops in your area, they are a good option too.
So get off your computer, get out of here and start your weekend! Have a great one. See you on Monday!!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
If you do a lot of entertaining having a food processor will save you oodles of time. It also enables you to get a smooth puree that would be otherwise impossible.
White Bean and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Dip
Jane Evans Bonacci © 2001
Yield: about 6 servings
2 cans (15 oz each) white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 small jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
1 tbsp grated shallot
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill or 2 tsp dried dill weed
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped scallions
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine drained and rinsed beans, bell peppers, shallots, garlic, and olive oil, and puree until smooth. Add lemon juice, dill, cayenne, and black pepper. Puree until blended. Taste and adjust seasonings, remembering that the flavors will develop with time and get more intense.
Transfer to a bowl and stir in scallions. Cover and place in refrigerator for an hour to let flavors meld.
Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed. It will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
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