Monday, December 6, 2010
Dear readers, I lied to you. I told you the cauliflower gratin was the best dish on my Thanksgiving plate, but that was only part of the story. As a girl who grew up with crazy pre-dinner spreads, having a selection of cheese, nuts, crostini, and olives is way important. And we knocked our pre-dinner munchies out of the park.
There was a dip, an epic dip, which shall henceforth be known as The Only Dip That Matters. White beans. Roasted Garlic. Olive Oil. Herbs. Buzzed together into silky perfection, served warm, with little slices of french bread. You may be thinking this sounds like hummus, but trust me it's not. This warm white bean dip is hummus' sexy roommate from the big city. Elegant, smooth, sophisticated... Watch out, this dip might steal your boyfriend.
Warm White Bean and Roasted Garlic Dip
Adapted from Essence of Emeril on Food Network
3 15-oz cans white beans, rinsed and well drained
1 head roasted garlic, cloves removed from peels*
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced mixed fresh herbs, such as thyme, marjoram, oregano and rosemary
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
About 1/4 cup water
Sea salt, for garnishing
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the beans, the roasted garlic, olive oil, 2 teaspoons of the herbs, salt, pepper, cayenne, and red wine vinegar and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, as necessary. Slowly add water until the dip reaches the desired thickness (keep blending until it is really smooth. There should be no chunks). Transfer to a saucepan and heat gently over low heat until warm. (Dip may also be served at room temperature if desired, but it is killer warm). Transfer to a shallow serving bowl or wide rimmed plate, and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Top with a drizzle of olive oil, and the remaining minced herbs. Serve with crostini, pita chips, or a veggie tray.
*To roast garlic, cut the top off a head of garlic, and leave the rest of the peels in tact. Wrap the head in tinfoil, and roast in the oven at about 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until the aroma of rich roasted garlic fills your house. To extract the roasted garlic, hold the head over the food processor and squeeze. All the soft roasted gooey goodness will ooze out. That sounds way dirty.