Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last Minute Italian Bean Spread

Our new favorite bean is the cannellini bean, a traditional Italian bean that is loaded with nutrients. Giada de Laurentis cooks with cannellini beans frequently, but we hadn't tried them until recently when we made this spread. A friend was coming over and the only thing we had to offer him was pita chips. We didn't have hummus, salsa or even cheese in the refrigerator! Thankfully we had a can of cannelini beans in the pantry and some other basic ingredients on hand. We threw a few things together and - voila - we had an instant appetizer! Next time you go food shopping, buy a can of cannellini beans. We promise it will come in handy next time guests come over! Your friends will think you bought the spread at a gourmet market!

1 can of cannellini beans
2 tablespoons of lemon juice (preferably fresh, but bottled is fine)
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
1 garlic clove
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper
1 teaspoon of olive oil
Chopped fresh parsley

Kitchen Essentials:
Can opener
Measuring spoons
Cutting board
Food processor
Small decorative bowl

Open the can of beans and drain the water from the beans using a strainer. Place the beans in a food processor, reserving 10-15 beans to place on top of the spread at the end. Add the lemon juice, oregano, cumin, salt pepper and chopped garlic clove. Pulse until smooth, scraping the sides to make sure everything is incorporated. Place the spread in a bowl. Next, garnish the spread by placing the whole beans on top and drizzling with olive oil. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with pita chips.

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