Tuesday, August 25, 2009

White Bean and Artichoke Dip / Spread Recipe with Rosemary, Pecorino Romano, & Kalamata Olives


I Love this Stuff

I'm always surprised when I look back through my photo files and realize just how few pictures I've actually posted, compared to all the ones I meant to post (and the thousands of others I've taken). The same goes for recipes. I couldn't believe it the other day when I realized that I've shared a pathetic grand total of eight recipes with you so far this year—and one of them can hardly be called a recipe. How can this be?

Things have to change. Enough with all the cute animal pictures.* Let's eat!

Rosemary white bean dips abound, but the Fine Cooking recipe I came across last year was the first one I'd seen that called for artichoke hearts. It sounded like a perfect combination, and it is. It doesn't taste all that artichokey—and someone might have a hard time actually guessing they're in there—but they really add a lot of flavor.

I applied my usual More, More, More philosophy to the original recipe, upping the fresh rosemary (since my rosemary bush in the greenhouse is thriving), cheese, and even olive oil. I substituted Pecorino Romano for the Parmigiano Reggiano because I love the flavor—and much lower price—of Romano, and besides, somebody needs to support all those Italian sheep farmers!

On a whim, I decided to stir some kalamata olives into the second batch I made, and this turned out to be a very good idea. That was many months and many batches ago. This dip is the sort of thing I can quickly become addicted to, happily eating it morning, noon, and night. Fortunately the recipe doubles easily. It also happens to be pretty good for you, which is nice to know if, like me, you're unable to stop eating it. I actually had to hide the recipe a while because I was afraid I'd eat so much I'd end up permanently sick of it, and I'd hate for that to happen.


White Bean and Artichoke Dip/Spread with Rosemary & Kalamatas

Makes about 2 cups (may be doubled) — Adapted from Fine Cooking

Cans of organic beans are a handy staple in my farmhouse pantry because they're so convenient and versatile. They're readily available in natural foods stores and many supermarkets and can often be found for the bargain price of about a dollar apiece. Some places such as Whole Foods will even give you a case discount if you stock up and buy 12 cans at a time.

I've used fresh lime juice in place of the lemon juice here a few times, and I really liked the flavor. Don't add the kalamatas in the food processor or they'll turn your dip a creepy purplish grey—stir them in at the end instead. I like to make half the batch with olives and half without and serve them up side by side, as pictured above.

I don't usually drizzle extra olive oil onto my food (preferring to save those calories for a couple of cookies or a hunk of chocolate cake instead), but in this case I highly recommend it. Besides, you'll probably be so full of dip you won't have room for dessert anyway.

You can serve this dip with just about anything—fresh veggies, crackers, pretzels, baguette slices—but it's heavenly on homemade pita chips. I also think it would be delicious spread on a sandwich.

To make your own pita chips, simply brush triangles of pita bread with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and a little finely grated hard cheese if you're feeling decadent, and bake them at 400° for 6 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your pitas and how crisp and brown you like them.

I like to bake up small batches of pita chips in my beloved toaster convection oven (which also helps me keep from eating way too many pita chips at once). Homemade pita chips made from homemade pita bread are out of this world; see how easy it is to make your own pitas in my previous post, The Pita Project.



1 15-ounce can organic cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts (packed in water), drained and rinsed
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or lime juice)
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on top
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup (about ¼ ounces) finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
Several grinds of fresh pepper

2 heaping Tablespoons chopped kalamata olives (about 10 olives), optional

Combine the cannellini beans, artichoke hearts, garlic, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until smooth. With the machine running, drizzle in the 3 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add a Tablespoon or two of water or more olive oil if you prefer a smoother consistency.

Blend in the rosemary and Pecorino Romano, then salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the kalamata olives if using. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with pita chips, crackers, baguette slices, or fresh vegetables.

This dip tastes even better after chilling for several hours or overnight, and will keep in the fridge for three or four days. Bring it to room temperature before serving.

Still hungry? Here are a few other dips and spreads you might enjoy:
Radish, Scallion and Feta Cream Cheese Spread/Dip
Chives and Herbed Yogurt Cheese
Sour Cream and Onion Dip (and Foodie Travel)
Ridiculously Easy White Bean Pesto Spread
Quick Refried Black Bean Dip
Salsa-Like Green Tomato Relish
Hot Swiss Chard Artichoke Dip

Other Farmgirl Fare recipes that call for canned beans:
Garbanzo Bean Salad with Red Onion, Cilantro, & Feta
Swiss Chard Cabbage Salad with Garbanzos, Broccoli Stems, & Cottage Cheese
Fast Black Bean Soup/Chili
Mexican Jumping Bean Slaw with High Kickin' Creamy Tomato Dressing
Simple Broccoli Onion Soup with Garbanzo Beans

Other Farmgirl Fare recipes that use artichoke hearts:
Quick & Healthy Cream (or Not) of Artichoke Soup
Easy Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Onions, Garlic, Garbanzos, and Artichokes
Swiss Chard Artichoke Soup
Swiss Chard & Artichoke White Pizza

* © Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the recipe hoarding foodie farm blog where my plan really is to seriously start catching up with all the backlogged recipes I've been wanting to post, but of course I was just kidding when I said forget about the cute animal photos. I know some of you like them the best—and in my opinion it's impossible to ever have too much cute!

19 comments:

  1. Thanks! I make tons of white-bean hummus but needed something "different". This totally fits the bill.

    Peace!

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  2. A fabulous recipe! I love those summery flavors!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. jackie cohen8/26/2009 5:57 AM

    I really need the daily dose of cute. Would you still do that even with the recipes? We always eat, perfect recipe or not, but I really look forward to dose of cute. In an office there are often months of no cute.

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  4. I should imagine your immersion in cookbook writing might make writing recipes here seem like overkill.

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  5. Hi Jackie,
    Not to worry! I was only kidding when I said enough with all the cute animal pictures. We thrive on cute around here - and I know it's many readers' favorite part of this site. I didn't mean to alarm you (and anyone else), and as soon as I read your comment I quickly put up a Wednesday Dose of Cute post with an apology - you'll find it here. Enjoy! :)

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  6. Oh that looks lovely, thanks for sharing the recipes!!!

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  7. Thanks for the recipe. I am so glad that you are going to post more recipes. I LOVE your recipes and your cooking philosophy. I can't wait to try this one and the rest to come.
    Tricia

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  8. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

    you might notice some threats heading your way over the lack of cute! KIDDING!

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  9. Mmm, that looks wonderful.

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  10. I made this same recipe from Fine Cooking and posted it a few years ago, and I agree, it was definitely a keeper. Don't you just love Fine Cooking? I don't think I've made a bad recipe from there.

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  11. Just what I was in the mood for! Thanks.

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  12. I have to try this recipe! Thanks for posting!

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  13. Wow! What a great looking and sounding dip! On my list for the week!

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  14. I recently stumbled across your blogs and have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts. I can't wait to try this spread recipe!

    Also, I read your pita making post that you had linked in. I am INSPIRED to try to make my own! We love pitas and hummus, but I would love fresh from the oven ones in my own home.

    I have subscribed to your feed, and plan to visit again often.

    Best Wishes,

    Elizabeth

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  15. Wow, this is a great recipe! Made it this morning. Have been outside a lot today with my trusty shovel trying to keep up with the snow...this is so tasty and is giving me the carbs and protein to keep going at it. Thanks!

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  16. This looks fantastic. Yum! What are the crackers/chips in the photo? Im making this ASAP!

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  17. Hey Farm Girl,
    I just started blogging several months ago as farm girl (more a nostalgia thing than a reality at the moment). Now that I am exploring blogs more, I realize there are all sorts of farm girl foodie types out there! I've enjoyed exploring your extensive blog history and will be back for more. Thanks for the yummy sounding recipe. Will make soon....

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  18. Ooh, I have cannellini beans and artichoke hearts in the fridge, and rosemary in the yard. I am so there. What an inspired combo! Go, Susan!

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  19. We made this again tonight -- it's one of our favorites. I had to use marinated artichoke hearts because that was what we had, and it still tasted great. It made a nice, light dinner. Well, with a whole bag of parmesan-garlic pita chips and a couple of glasses of shiraz :)

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January 2013 update: I know word verification is a big pain, but it's the only way I can stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I get every day. I don't want to require commenters to be registered Blogger or Open ID users because I know many of you aren't. Thanks so much for your understanding!

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