The recent spell of hot weather has inspired all the heat-loving vegetables to thrive; crisp, green cucumbers, shiny yellow summer squash, perfectly ripe tomatoes, green beans, wax beans, and zebra-striped zucchini. Chopped veggies, grilled veggies, veggies poached in butter, we are literally swimming in fresh veggies.
A nice, tasty dip encourages lots of fresh veggie snacking. Instead of a traditional hummus, I enjoy white bean dips with different herbs. In the recipe for White Bean Dip with Fresh Herbs the garlic is first sautéed in olive oil. While this extra step means a bit more work, the flavor of this bean dip becomes mellower, without the sharp garlic flavor. Of course, if your family loves garlic, the amount can easily be increased. Let you palate be the guide. Taste and taste again.
This recipe uses fresh thyme and rosemary, which are in full bloom with bees buzzing around their mass of tiny purple blossoms. I like to add these edible flowers to the dip, or on a cracker spread with the dip, and encourage folks to try them. For a twist on flavors, try Asian-type, and use mint and cilantro instead. This would be tasty with some grilled lamb.
White Bean Dip spreads into a pocket for sandwiches can be thinned with a bit of oil for a salad dressing. My favorite is White Bean Dip on top of grilled garlic and herb bread with a side of fresh veggies.
White Bean Dip with Fresh Herbs
- 2 cups cooked white beans
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided into 1and 3 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
- In a medium-sized pan, heat the garlic in 1-tablespoon olive oil. Cook for two minutes, and then add the white beans, rosemary, and thyme. Sautee for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until garlic is soft and fragrant.
- Transfer the beans to a food processor. Add the salt, pepper, lemon, and remaining olive oil. Process on high, stopping every now and then to scrape the bowl down, until mixture is totally creamy and smooth.
- Stir in the fresh parsley. Serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil. Serve with crackers, grilled garlic bread and / or fresh veggies. Makes about 2 ½ cups.