I’m snacker by nature. I love to nibble a bit here, nibble of bit there, open up my cupboards and peruse. Open up my fridge and graze. And often, I don’t really even know what I’m craving, because usually it’s a little of everything. Maybe I’ll start with a sweet treat, and then, move on to something on the salty side. Perhaps I’ll have something creamy, and next something crispy. I seek out morsels that I can get enjoyment out of in small amounts, yum-yums that tantalize and tickle the taste buds and make my belly happy. And one snack that I find myself craving often is a good dip.
A simple dip is a simple pleasure. Creamy, flavorful and a delicious friend to a perfect chip, crisp or veggie, dip is a shareable goody, and a healthy snack to reach for. I love the ease of placing all ingredients into the food processor and giving them a few whirls until they become luxuriously smooth and fluffy, and white beans are the perfect ingredients when it comes to making a filling and satisfying dip. An excellent source of protein and fiber, they’re great at absorbing the other tasty flavors that are introduced to them, and perfectly create the creamy, thick consistency that can be scooped up by or slathered onto accompanying elements.
Having the love of snacking that I do, I’m always looking for quick, delicious ways to put together simple and healthy ingredients. A good snack can be a real comfort, and a savory white bean dip can be the perfect snack. Throw in some bacon and herbs, and you’ve got all that you’ll need to experience that a hill of beans can amount to something very, very scrumptious indeed.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Creamy White Bean and Apple-Smoked Bacon Dip with Parmesan-Garlic Crisps
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(Serves about 6)
2 (15 ounce) cans Cannellini or Navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, smashed
¼ cup roughly chopped parsley, plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped, divided use
2½ teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
8 strips apple-smoked bacon, cooked and chopped, 1 tablespoon reserved for garnish
½ cup olive oil, plus a drizzle, divided use
• Parmesan-Garlic Crisps (recipe below)
-Place the beans, the garlic, the ¼ cup roughly chopped parsley, the lemon juice and zest, the salt, pepper and all but 1 tablespoon of the chopped crispy bacon into the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined and mostly smooth; with the processor running, begin drizzling in the ½ cup of olive oil, and process until the dip is completely smooth.
-Spoon the dip out into a bowl, and finish by sprinkling the top with the remaining 1 teaspoon of finely chopped parsley and reserved 1 tablespoon of chopped crispy bacon and a drizzle of the olive oil; serve alongside the Parmesan-Garlic Crisps.
Parmesan-Garlic Crisps ingredients:
1 French baguette, sliced very thinly on the bias
Drizzles of olive oil
1garlic clove, paper removed and end cut off
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
-Turn your oven on to “Broil”, and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.
-Place the baguette slices onto the baking sheet, and drizzle just enough olive oil over the slices to lightly coat them; place them into the oven under the broiler for only a moment to slightly toast; remove the baking sheet with the toasts, and carefully rub the cut clove of garlic over each toast slice; next, sprinkle some of the grated Parmesan cheese over each slice of toast, as well as the Italian seasoning; place back into the oven under the broiler to crisp up a little more, just until the toasts are golden-brown and the Parmesan is lightly melted; finally, once the toasts are cool enough to handle, slice each one in half diagonally, and serve alongside the Creamy White Bean and Bacon Dip.