When all you can scavenge from your cupboard is a can of beans, this delicious recipe will put them to good use. This white bean purée really stands out; it’s so lemony, so garlicky…and so necessary when hosting a party or get together. All you need is a few simple ingredients and some pita crisps or crackers for dipping, and you’re good to go.
1 540 ml can Romano beans, drained and rinsed
10-12 basil leaves
8 mint leaves
4 cloves garlic, peeled
Half a lemon
1 tsp salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Rinse a can of Romano beans and look around the kitchen. Even look outside the kitchen — maybe you can grab some basil leaves and mint from the garden, as I was able to do. (Don’t be too impressed: I already managed to kill the thyme and tarragon this year).
2. Peel 2 cloves of garlic (if you want a real garlic punch, go for 4 cloves). Add the juice of half a lemon and 1 tsp salt.
3. Pour in ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil, then use the a blender to mix everything until smooth and creamy.
4. Now, taste your mixture. It should be lemony and garlicky, with a nice balance of salt. You’ll know the flavours are perfect if you can’t help sticking your finger in for another sample. You can serve this dip simply, with a few crackers and it will certainly be a hit.
Tip: If you want to make it a meal, toast some bread, add the purée and top with good tuna in olive oil, plus a few slices of seasonal tomatoes.
Sue Riedl is a Toronto-based food writer with a passion for cheese who writes a column called The Spread for The Globe and Mail. She loves to push stinky cheese on her 4-year-old.