Thursday, July 25, 2013

Roasted Garlic & Cannellini Bean Dip with Basil Oil

With all the office gatherings, potlucks, picnics, porch parties and BBQs that come along with summer, I thought I'd share my cheapest, quickest and easiest, yet still terrifically tasty, recipe for a perfect please-'em-all offering to bring along to any of the above. It's great in a pinch when I remember I have to make something a little too late to devote hours to my favorite potluck dish, baked lentils (the recipe for which, eventually, I'll post to the blog!). This dip is delicious, dirt-cheap to make, will appease nearly any dietary restrictions, and is easily doubled (or tripled, etc). You can even nix the pretty basil oil topping if you're really pressed for time.

A note about the garlic: I am gonzo for garlic, so I put 4-5 cloves into my dip if it's just for me and my garlic lovin' spouse/friends/family. However, if this dip is making its way towards an office function, or set in front of a group of people I don't know that well, I usually tone it down to 2 or 3 so there's just a hint of garlic, not an all-out assault (the way I like it). Find your happy medium!

Roasted Garlic & Cannellini Bean Dip with Basil Oil

Makes about 2 cups - approx. enough for 10-12 people in a potluck setting
*1 15oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
*2-5 cloves garlic
*Juice + 1 teaspoon zest from one lemon
*Scant 1/4 cup evoo
*A pinch of dried oregano

Basil Oil
*Equal amounts of basil & evoo (I usually go with 1/4 packed cup to 1/4 cup)

Rub the unpeeled garlic with a little oil, wrap in foil and toss in a 400 degree oven to roast for about 30-40 minutes - I suggest popping in a few extra cloves while you're at it, because the temptation to slather some roasted garlic all over toasty bread when it's done will be too great to resist. While the garlic is roasting, puree the basil and olive oil in a small food processor, and then pop into a mason jar and set in the fridge. No need to rinse the processor, just toss all the dip ingredients in it when the garlic is done. Pulse everything until pureed, and season with S&P to taste. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve, and then drizzle some of the basil oil over top. Any leftover oil can be re-purposed in myriad ways.

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