Monday, November 14, 2011

Easy Basil White Bean Pesto, or is it hummus?

This is a piece of cake to make and I can't get enough of it.  It's part of my quest for tasty dips and sauces that aren't overly loaded with fat.  For quite a while I've been on the, "well but it's good fat" kick and while I still don't balk at reaching for the olive or sesame oil, I could stand to tone it down a bit.  We ate this with crackers, in wraps, on cut vegetables, and as a dressing for a potato salad.  I imagine it would be good over pasta or stirred into some warm rice.


Super quick:  1 can of cannellini beans, low sodium, rinsed and drained
Less quick:  1 cup(ish) of dried beans, soaked over night with a pinch of baking soda (this makes them nice and soft when you cook them) boiled and drained
1 big bundle of fresh basil, washed and dried well
Juice of one lemon (or more, to taste)
A clove or three of garlic (it IS cold season)
1 small glug olive oil, to aid in blending

  • Place the garlic in the bottom of the blender or food processor (preferred) and pulse a couple of times to mince it.  If raw garlic is too strong for you, you can try roasting it, adding it to the beans as you boil them, or substituting powered garlic.
  • Add the beans to the garlic and blend together
  • Add the basil on top, along with the lemon juice and a splash of olive oil, and pulse to incorporate
You want to be careful not to beat the crap out of the basil, which is why a food processor is much nicer than a blender for this recipe.  Pulse it a few times, push it down with a spatula, and pulse a few more - just until it's all incorporated.

Store in an airtight container with a thin layer of olive oil over the tip to prevent oxidization (browning) of the basil.

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