Happy Sunday – this past week has been – well, there’s been lots of good:
- Starting a 21-day yoga challenge
- Participating, albeit in too limited a fashion, in Sarah’s virtual retreat
- Seeing my friends Gena and Katie, who are such smart lovely ladies
And lots of less fun stuff unfortunately. In the past, during stressful periods at work, I generally just worked and slept and ate, but now I am determined to stay more active. True, if I was not going to yoga at 7am three days a week, I could not even contemplate completing this 21 yoga classes in 21 days challenge, but somehow, since my sunrise time post a couple of months ago, morning yoga has become a habit – and as it is, I am just grateful that despite a hectic schedule, the challenge is motivating me to stay active. And Sarah’s retreat means that I am journaling a few lines a day here or there instead of leaving that completely neglected too, though I have to admit I am completely skipping today’s assignments as I am working and running errands.
Enough of all of that – I need to get back to a 52 page chart (law students, and I know I have some readers among you, be sure you know Excel by the time you graduate – you will use it more than you ever expected) – but I wanted to stop by and share the recipe below with you, mainly because I promised Gena and Katie that I would. I made this white bean dip yesterday and they both said it was good. Considering they both create amazing recipes, I was very flattered, especially because I am always nervous about white bean dips. Unlike chickpea-based hummus, which pretty much always taste good, white bean dips are finicky. The seasoning is hard to get right, the texture less reliable.
For all these reasons, I read Heidi Swanson’s recipe for White Bean Spread with Rosemary and Toasted Almonds in her latest book, Super Natural Every Day: Well-loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen, with great interest and made it exactly according to the recipe the first time. It was delicious – great seasoning and texture – so I decided to try my own spin on it, with pumpkin seeds, half the oil, and fewer almonds. The result was Gena- and Katie- approved! And me-approved too!
Rustic White Bean Dip (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free) – Makes 3 1/2 cups
- 2/3 cup raw almonds (whole, slivered or sliced are all fine – the key is that they be unseasoned and, if possible, unroasted)
- 1/3 cup shelled raw pumpkin seeds (look for the green pepitas)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp sage leaves
- 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped coarsely
- 4 cups cooked white beans, or 2 15oz cans, rinsed and drained (see note on seasoning, below)
- 2-4 Tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1-2 tsps sea salt (see note on seasoning, below)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Toast almonds and pumpkin seeds in dry hot pan, stirring to prevent burning, until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Set aside to cool on a plate. Wipe pan down.
In same pan, heat extra virgin olive oil on medium-low heat, add garlic cloves, sage and rosemary. Cook 1-2 minutes, until herbs are sizzling. Flip garlic a couple of times so it begins to turn golden to all sides. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
While oil is cooling, grind the almonds and pumpkin seeds in a food processor until you have a fine meal, almost like a powder. Remove garlic from olive oil mixture and process in food processor until incorporated. Add olive oil mixture, including rosemary and sage, to food processor, with white beans, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and zest and 1 teaspoon of the sea salt. Process until the mixture is thick yet spreadable, adding a couple of tablespoons of water if necessary. Taste for seasoning and add black pepper to taste, and more lemon juice and salt. I ended up using 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of salt total, but see the note on seasoning below, especially if you are using canned beans. Serve with crackers, raw veggies or as a spread in a sandwich, or as a side to a salad, or as part of a lunchbox.
Note on seasoning: I used white beans I cooked in the rice cooker, with no salt or kombu (I plain forgot to use kombu, though I usually use it). If you use canned beans I suspect you will need less salt.
Finally, in light of the hectic week ahead, I am going to submit this to many blog events. Do check out these blogs as many are great sources of gluten-free and/or vegan recipes.
The first one is this month’s Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten-Free, a blog event created by Naomi of Straight into Bed Cakefree and Dried and hosted by Aubree Cherie of Living Free. This month’s theme is Father’s Day – I have always been an adventurous eater, and while I get that from both of my parents, I would say my dad is even more of an adventurous eater than my mom. I was lucky to be exposed of many cultures from an early age as a result of the travelling my parents had done. My parents love hummus as much as I do, and I get my habit of eating it with a spoon from my dad. I am pretty sure he will be eating this white bean dip with a spoon too.
In addition to the above monthly events, I am submitting this recipe to the following weekly blog events:
A new-to-me blog event also hosted by Flip Cookbook called Sugar Free Sunday, which includes sweet and savory dishes made with non-refined sugars.
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday with Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free. (update June 7, 2011, here is the link for today’s SIT roundup)