Prep Time:20 minutes + 1 hour standing time
It was a crushing blow: the 49ers should be in the Super Bowl this Sunday. Between their overtime loss in the NFC championship and Stanford’s overtime loss in the Fiesta Bowl, I’m very much looking forward to baseball season.
However, if I were to watch the Super Bowl, this is what I’d snack on and it’s what we snacked on while we watched that wretched game two weeks ago. The dip cheered up our group considerably; it’s addictive in the way most dips are, but it’s healthier than anything sour cream–based. In fact it’s sort of a super food, if you look at the ingredients. That figures, since I got the recipe from a doctor (who suggested white beans in place of kidney beans—thank you, Jen) who got it from another doctor who is a triathlete. They told me it’s of Georgian (as in the former Soviet Republic, not the peach state) origin, but I found a similar bean dip called “Lubia” in a Persian cookbook. I think I’ll ponder this cross-cultural provenance while the rest of you watch the game this weekend. I just can’t face it.
15-oz can kidney beans or cannellini beans
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil or walnut oil, plus additional for garnish
1/4 tesapoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 scallions, finely chopped
4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
tortilla chips, pita crisps or seeded crackers for dipping
Drain the beans in a sieve set over a measuring cup to reserve the liquid. Rinse the beans under cold water until no longer foamy (this eliminates extra sodium). In a food processor or blender, combine the beans, garlic, walnuts, vinegar, oil, salt and several grindings of pepper, and cayenne. Pulse until almost smooth, pouring in some of the reserved bean juice as needed to help the puree come together (you may need a fair amount if you are using a blender). Taste and season with more salt and pepper as necessary.
Scrape the mixture into a serving bowl and mix in 1/2 the scallions and half of the cilantro. Sprinkle the remaining scallions and cilantro on top and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour or refrigerate for several hours to let flavors combine.
To serve, drizzle some oil over the top of the bean dip and surround with chips or pita crisps or crackers for dipping.