Friday, December 30, 2011

Rosemary Infused White Bean Dip

I don't know why, but I had the hardest time coming up with a cold dip to serve on New Year's Eve.  I make a mean guacamole and spinach dip, but I wanted to try something new, something seasonal, something (relatively) healthy.  After perusing numerous websites and racking my brain I came up with a hybrid of several recipes.  This rosemary infused white bean dip is hummus like in texture, but bountiful in flavor.  An added bonus:  you can make this up to two days ahead!

Ingredients  (Yields approximately 2 cups of dip)

1/4 c. of extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cloves of garlic, chopped 
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 of a lemon)
2 15.5 oz. cans of cannelloni (white kidney) beans
4 sprigs of rosemary
Fresh ground black pepper

1.  Pour half of the 1/4 c. of olive oil in to a saute pan.  Turn heat to medium low.
2.  Add the chopped garlic and saute until translucent and soft.
3.  Blend the garlic and olive oil mixture, the salt, lemon juice and beans to a food processor (or use an immersion blender like I did if you don't have a food processor).
4.  Pour the remaining olive oil in to the saute pan and turn the heat to medium.  Add the 3 sprigs of rosemary and saute for about 5-6 minutes turning periodically so they don't burn.
5.  Allow mixture to cool for 5 minutes. Remove the rosemary sprigs and chop 1 tsp. (or more if desired) of the leaves.
6.  Pour the rosemary olive oil over the bean dip*, and sprinkle the chopped leaves over top as garnish.

Serve cold or at room temperature with toasted pita bread, crackers, pita chips, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and/or celery.

*NOTE:  If you do plan to make this dip ahead, keep the rosemary olive oil and bean mixture separate until you serve.  The oil can be kept in the refrigerator for storage.  Just heat it up and drizzle over the bean mixture right before serving.

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