With the holidays right around the corner, it’s a good time to have a few secretly-healthier foods in mind to sneak onto the table alongside the traditional fare. This white bean puree works equally well as a spread for crostini or as a dip for crackers and veggies, and its creamy texture belies the fact that it’s just a fancy (and still vegan) alternative to hummus.These beans don’t have to wait for a party, though. The dip takes five minutes to make, and it’s a workhorse in the kitchen. We had it on baguette slices alongside our minestrone. I spread it on slices of whole wheat toast for breakfast all week. And it makes a decadent sandwich with tomatoes, lettuce, and avocado slices.
Creamy White Bean Dip or Spread: In a food processor, combine 2 c. cooked white beans, ½ c. bean cooking liquid (or substitute half liquid from the can and half water if you’re using canned beans), 6 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley, 2 Tbsp. finely-chopped oregano or thyme, and a finely-minced small garlic clove. Puree until creamy, then add salt to taste. (Recognize this combination? If you have that olive oil-oregano sauce on hand, substitute half a cup of it for the 6 Tbsp. olive oil and subsequent ingredients. You will still want to add salt to taste after pureeing the beans.) The dip in the photograph is topped with a swirl of the same oregano drizzle. Serve with crostini or crackers for spreading or dipping.