I don’t like cold beans at all. Even though my Mom was famous for her bean salad – we took it, on request, to every family gathering I can remember – I never touched the stuff. So I really did not expect to like this dip. But when my son and I attended an Italian Cooking Day at the Miele Experience Centre a few months ago, it was one of the dishes the group made, and it would have been rude not to try it. I’m so glad I did. My son, who feels exactly the same way about cold beans that I do, liked it too, and even asked me to make it when we got home.
It doesn’t taste bean-y at all. In fact, it tastes like a really yummy vegetarian pate, which I suppose, in some ways, it is. Of course, I can never leave a recipe alone, and I have adapted it, tweaking the seasoning, and using more lemon and less parsley. I have served it several times as part of an antipasti starter course, as a dip and on toasted bruschetta. Everyone loves it, and most of them refuse to believe it is made from beans. This suits me, as I prefer to pretend it isn’t too!
The best thing is, you can keep the ingredients for this on hand (in a pinch you can even used dried parsley, although fresh is better), whip it up at a moment’s notice and bask in the glory of being a domestic goddess with almost zero effort. And did I mention it’s good for you too? Seriously, this one is a keeper.
2 x 14 ounce cans Canellini beans
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
(or 1 generous teaspoon of Very Lazy Garlic)
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
¼ cup good olive oil
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
(or 1 tablespoon dried parsley, if you are stuck)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
In a blender or food processor, blend the canellini beans with the olive oil. Add the garlic, lemon juice, zest and parsley and blitz until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving dish.
It really is that easy.
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