Part III of My Italian Trifecta: Tuscan White Bean Dip Recipe
Do you like hummus? If so, you’ll go crazy for this Italian relative of hummus. No hummus, you say? C'mon and give it a try. Until recently, I swore I didn’t like it either...because I don’t like chickpeas. I was absolutely starving before dinner in a restaurant one night when they brought out a bowl of what looked like bean dip, along with some pita bread. I devoured the entire bowl and then asked what it was. To my utter surprise? It was hummus…I was hooked, and now I’m a big fan! Same thing happened in New York this summer. We were having dinner at BLT Prime…I was starving, and they brought out a crock of some yummy spread, along with toasted bread. I ate first and asked questions later. Turns out it was chicken liver pate…and it was AMAZING! What does any of this have to do with Tuscan White Bean Dip, you ask? Not much, actually…lost my train of thought for a sec!
Anyway…getting back on topic, this Tuscan White Bean Dip is delicious!! It’s a real keeper. It’s inexpensive to make, full of healthy ingredients, and it literally takes about five minutes to whip up! It’s veg/vegan-friendly to boot, so that’s a plus for entertaining. I took it to a Texans football-watching party yesterday afternoon, and we ate every bit of it. You can serve it with toasted pita bread or pita chips, but I used some of the pane guttiau that my friend Chiara sent me from Sardinia last week. It’s a paper-thin crispy flatbread from Sardinia that's flavored with olive oil and salt. We warmed it in the oven for five minutes, and it was a perfect match with the creamy texture of this dip.
I also made Buffalo wings for the party, but I won’t be blogging about those! The taste was fine, but I broiled them instead of frying them. I think that was what was missing…the grease and the crispy skin!! So…I’ve decided to leave the wing making to my friends over at Buffalo Wild Wings from now on. I’ll stick with this dip. I imagine this will be a standard part of my fall entertaining repertoire between now and Christmas…it’s that good! It’s full of fresh Italian flavors and is simple to double for larger crowds.
Tuscan White Bean Dip
Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
- 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup good-quality extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- 4-5 basil leaves
- 1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 1.5 tbs. sliced almonds
Step 1: Place all ingredients except the almonds in a food processor. Blend until smooth, stopping after about 30 seconds to scrape the bean puree off the sides. Process for a few seconds more; the mixture should be smooth, with flecks of basil and parsley visible.
Step 2: Scoop the dip into a bowl. Drizzle with a bit more of the olive oil, and sprinkle the almonds on top.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I planned to sprinkle pine nuts on top…but I used the end of what I had in my caponata last weekend. The almonds worked very well, though…so sometimes necessity is the motherhood of creativity. Or something like that!
Serve the dip with pita chips, warm triangles of pita bread…or pane guttiau if you can get your hands on some. This dip has a very creamy texture without any added cream, thanks to the combination of the bean puree and olive oil.