Thursday, April 30, 2009

Easy on the Eyes and the Wallet: Three Yummy Bean Dips

Warmer weather means more picnics, parties and outdoor socializing is going on, and so I came up with a beautiful dip to share with family and friends that couldn't have been easier to put together with a few pantry staples.

We are BFFs with the legumes, so I always have a few varieties of canned and dried beans in the larder, and some homemade pesto in the freezer from at least one or two garden seasons. Throw in a jar of roasted red peppers and some seasonings, and you're good to go in replicating this pretty tri-color bean dip.

The April Royal Foodie Joust is winding down over at the Leftover Queen's Foodie Forum and this time the three required Joust ingredients are not so much ingredients as colors: Red, Green and White. I thought about making a more complicated Joust entry like a Vegetable Terrine, but our family is in the midst of Spring soccer, softball, SAT test review, music concerts, etc., so I ended up serendipitously coming up with this yummy bean trio during an interlude in between all my chauffeuring.

We dunked baby carrots and red pepper strips in it and topped a few salads with a dollop of these three gorgeous bean dips, and I know I'll be making it again soon for friends.

Here's the easy recipe:

Red, Green and White Bean Dips

2 (15.5 oz.) cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. ground sage

3 Tbsp. basil pesto
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives (scallion greens would be a good substitute)

2 roasted red peppers, drained and rough chopped

Place beans, garlic, lemon juice, salt and olive oil in food processor and pulse until smooth. Mentally divide bean paste into thirds, Remove two of these portions and place each third into its own bowl to mix in red and green ingredients.

Return to remaining third bean spread in food processor and add ground sage. This is your White bean spread. Pulse until blended. Scoop out into small bowl and let sit.

Return one of the other third portions of bean spread into food processor and add pesto and snipped chives. Pulse until blended. Scoop back out into its own bowl and reserve. This is your Green bean spread.

Rinse out food processor and dry. Add third portion of bean spread and add in chopped roasted peppers. Pulse until blended. Scoop back out. This is your Red Bean Spread.

You can either serve these three bean spreads in separate serving dishes or try arranging them together in a 4 cup serving bowl by making three distinct mounds and then swirling the edges together in a hopefully attractive manner. The Red bean dip is a little runnier, so try molding the other two first.

Makes 4 cups.

The entries for this tri-color Royal Foodie Joust are just stunning already so be sure to head over to the Foodie Forum to see gorgeous red peppers, beet gnocchi, the visual pun of avocado "guacamole" ice cream (with chips!) and some other stellar interpretations of this fun foodie event.


Ivy said...

What a lovely idea. It sounds delicious. Good luck with the Joust.

Anonymous said...

Your presentation is gorgeous. That would make a great party platter.

Arlene Delloro said...

I love legumes; what a delicious-looking dip!

Heather S-G said...

I am a big fan of the legumes! These sound awesome and look beautiful!

Maria Verivaki said...

love the look of this - so healthy too

Alicia Foodycat said...

I love the way you have presented this! Yum! Bean dips are so good.

PeterMarcus said...

I absolutely love roasted red peppers, and I use them a lot. This looks so tasty -- again, I wish we could submit taste-tests to the Joust!

Kat said...

Hi, I nominated you for an Attitude of Gratitude Award! :-)


Susan said...

Looks wonderful and is a great idea for a festive party appetizer!