"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Thursday, October 15, 2009

White Bean Dip with Pita Chips

This dip is a great appetizer (and works well for tailgating too!) It's super easy (seriously, anyone can make it) and has a lot of flavor. I've been making it for years. I took it to Thanksgiving one year, and it was a big hit!

White Bean Dip
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (loosely packed)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
1 garlic clove

In a food processor, combine the beans, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pulse on and off until the mixture is coarsely chopped. With the machine running, gradually mix in 1/3 cup of oil until the mixture is creamy. Season the puree with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a small bowl and serve the pita toasts warm or at room temperature alongside. The pita wedges and bean dip can be made 1 day ahead. Make sure to keep the bean dip refrigerated if you're not serving it immediately.

Pita Wedges - Cut 4 slices of pita bread into 6 or 8 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges evenly over a large baking sheet. Brush the pita wedges with 2 tablespoons of the oil, then sprinkle with the oregano and 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Bake for 8 minutes at 400 degrees, the turn the pita wedges over and bake until they are crisp and golden, about 6 minutes longer.

Notes - This dip can easily be changed around - use different herbs, use chick peas instead of cannellini beans, or serve it with warmed pita wedges instead of crisp pita chips. There are a lot of ways to give it different textures and flavors!

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