White Bean Dip with Herbs and Olive Oil

Not only Fabulously Frugal, this dip is one of the healthier ones and absolutely delicious. Made with inexpensive beans, the big “splurge” here would be the olive oil. Use the best you have and don’t be afraid to drizzle it over the top. A good olive oil is more than an ingredient here, it’s the flavoring. Olive oil is heart-healthy, too.

White Bean Dip - so easy and a perfect save from pantry ingrdients
White Bean Dip – so easy and a perfect save from pantry ingredients

Downright cheap with dried beans, canned beans still won’t break the bank and are a quick option for that last-minute party or drop in guests. Herbs can be expensive at the store, so if you aren’t growing your own (I put them in a strawberry pot on my back steps and bring them in during the winter) then spring/summer is an ideal time to start.

While we’ve always loved this white bean dip with home-made pita chips, it’s also great with crudites, spread on crostini or crackers.

Home-made Pita Chips
Home-made Pita Chips

White Bean Dip

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (3/4 cup dry) or one 15 ounce can
  • 1/4 cup of the bean cooking liquid, or the liquid from the can, more or less as desired
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped herbs: parsley, dill, mint, basil, oregano, in a combination – be wary of adding the full amount of just one herb, some may be overpowering in larger amounts.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • generous pinch of red pepper powder
  • Additional olive oil and fresh herbs, for garnish

Rinse the dried beans and sort them, checking for stones or debris. Soak the beans overnight in cold water covering the beans by at least two inches.

The next day, bring the beans to a gentle boil with a bay leaf, making sure there is plenty of water covering them. Cook until completely tender, 1 to 2 hours, depending on the beans.  If the beans don’t seem to be becoming tender after about an hour, you may have older beans and/or very hard water. A pinch of baking soda can be added to the water to help the beans cook and soften.

Drain the beans, reserving some of the liquid. Remove bay leaf and let beans cool to room temperature. Put the beans along with 1/4 cup of their cooking liquid in a blender or food processor, and blend with the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne powder. Scrape down the sides several times. Puree long enough for this to be as smooth as possible, several minutes.

Taste, and adjust for seasoning, adding more salt or olive oil if desired. If it’s too thick, add a tablespoon or so of the reserved bean liquid or olive oil. Garnish with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a scattering of fresh chopped herbs. Serve at room temperature.

from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com

Put Your own Spin on It:

  • Vary the thickness of this dip by controlling the amount of liquid
  • Vary the flavor by varying the herbs.
  • A similar dip can be made from many different beans.
  • This is a great use of any left over beans.

Recipe made March 2014, from David Lebovitz.

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

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