Mixed White Bean and Chive Dip

Yield: 3 cups

The chives are up in the garden and in search of a bit of spring, this dip served warm with fresh vegetables, artisan crackers and a quick salad ushers in the first of the season we’ve seen up North.  Besides, it’s a nice alternative to hummus which is the usual go-to in dip-land.

To get a really smooth and creamy texture, make sure to pressure cook the beans.  If there isn’t time for that, then working with canned beans will do just fine.  While the instructions are given for cooking dry beans from scratch, if using canned, rinse them well and measure out 1 cup of each legume called for (3 cups total), saving the rest for use in other dishes through the week.

What you need :

  • 1/3 cup dry chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup dry cannellini beans or white kidney beans
  • 1/3 cup dry baby lima beans
  • A 2’’ piece of kombu seaweed (optional)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame butter)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sweet white or mellow white miso
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (organic and unpasteurized preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper to taste

What you do :

  1. Soak the three kinds of dry beans together overnight in a generous amount of fresh water, enough to cover by 3’’-4’’.
  2. Drain the beans; add to a pressure cooker with more fresh water to cover by an inch or two, along with the bay leaves and kombu. Make sure not to fill the cooker more than half-way.
  3. Fit the lid, bring to pressure and cook the beans for 25 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow a natural pressure release.
  4. Open the cover carefully, remove the bay and kombu, drain the beans and set aside; there should be about 3 cups of cooked bean. The cannellini beans will likely be quite creamy (read mushy) and that’s exactly how you want them to get the best the smoothest and tastiest bean dip in the neighbourhood.
  5. Put the tahini, garlic, olive oil, miso, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, water and chives in a blender. Blend at high speed until creamy, there will be green flecks from the chives throughout.
  6. Add the warm, drained beans in two batches, blending at low speed and stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Continue until the mixture is perfectly smooth.
  7. Taste, adding extra salt if desired.
  8. Serve warm immediately, or refrigerate until ready for use, thinning with a bit of warm water if desired/necessary to return the dip to its initial state of creaminess.

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