Quite awhile back, I made a promise to someday post my favorite white bean dip recipe, and at long last, here it is. It’s from Giada de Laurentiis’ first cookbook, and it’s the first recipe I made when I got it. For all intents and purposes, it’s white bean hummus, so it’s no wonder I zeroed in on it. The ingredient list is short and sweet, and everything comes together so simply that you’ll be amazed at the depth of flavor it attains. Use your best olive oil for this, because you’ll taste it in every bite. I bet it would be even better made with fresh cooked beans; let me know if you try it that way.
1 can cannellini/navy beans, rinsed and drained
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2T lemon juice
1/4 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
Pita chips, for serving
Place the beans, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Adjust the garlic to your taste—I put in four cloves, and the garlic flavor in the finished product was über-powerful. That’s how I like it, but if you want it subtler, feel free to use just a clove or two.
Pulse the food processor until everything is roughly chopped and combined. Add the parsley and pulse that in as well.
Pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then turn it on full blast. Stream the olive oil in through the top until the dip looks smooth but still thick.
With the motor still running, stream in water until the dip looks just a little thinner than you’d like it—it’ll thicken as it sits. Let the food processor run for about 2 minutes to purée it thoroughly, scraping down the sides again if needed.
As you can see, I went the quick route and ate mine with storebought pita chips, but I’d highly recommend you cut up some fresh pita, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 400 degrees for a few minutes until toasty.
Scrape the dip into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for at least a couple hours to allow the flavors to meld and develop. When you take it out, you’ll be rewarded with an irrestistibly creamy and mouthwateringly aromatic snack. The buttery beans and the fruity olive oil lock together to form a supremely pleasing texture. Its mild green hue belies the zesty parsley essence within, and the garlic will kiss your every taste bud. Serve it with the pita chips, crackers, or vegetable crudités, or you can use it as a sandwich spread…but I won’t tell anyone if you sample some with a spoon.
Yield: about 8 servings. Per serving: 125 calories, 7g fat (1g sat), 12g carbs, 3g fiber, 4g protein.