April 28, 2012

Tuscan Bean Dip

Cannellini, also known as white kidney beans, are the star of any Tuscan bean dip. They provide the creamy base, to which just about anything complementary can be added for spice or texture.
They are also remarkably healthy. One 15-oz can has 0 grams of fat, 35 grams of fiber, 28 grams of protein, and only 3.5 grams sugar. They are also rich in calcium and iron.

You won't want to eat a whole batch yourself - it's too filling - but you could, without guilt.

Key Ingredients
  • 1 15-oz can of cannellini beans, partially drained
  • 2 cloves garlic (or two cubes frozen, or 2 Tbsp from a jar)
  • Cumin, to taste
  • Italian herbs (fresh, if possible; otherwise dried) to taste
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (unless you use an option, below, that has oil in it)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Optional Ingredients:
  • 6 to 8 good black olives (such as kalamatas)
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Dried tomatoes
  • Parsley

Easy Prep Steps
Toss the key ingredients into a food processor, and blend til smooth.
Add any optional ingredients desired, and blend lightly to leave some small chunks for texture and color.
Taste and adjust.

Serving Tips
As a dip:
* Pretzel chips, pita chips and thin bread slices all work well.

As a sandwich spread:
* Toast slices of a good bread (an artisanal olive or rosemary, for instance)
* Spead a layer on, as thin or thick as you prefer
* Top with raw or roasted veggies, such as sweet red peppers
* Enjoy open-faced, or with a top.

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