On any given holiday weekend, an unexpected guest might appear out of nowhere to fill an empty chair at my table. Unexpected does not mean unwelcome, but sometimes it means a few rabbits need to be pulled from hats to stretch the food. At times like those, it's great to have some quick appetizer ideas that use ingredients from the pantry. Fancy up this quick-and-easy white bean dip with crackers, pita wedges, raw vegetables or slices of fruit. In other words, raid the fridge and raid the pantry; all the "rabbits" you need are right there.
White bean dip with goat cheese and herbes de Provence
Makes 1 cup.
15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 shallot, minced, or 2 tsp minced red onion
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 oz goat cheese
1/2 tsp herbes de Provence, crushed lightly in a mortar and pestle
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
In a large sauce pan (I use a 3-quart straight-sided pan), combine the beans, shallot and cream. Cook over low heat until the mixture is just below the boiling point, then add the goat cheese and herbes de Provence. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the cheese melts.
Remove pan from the heat and purée the mixture with an immersion blender (or let it cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor). I like to leave some texture in; you can make it as smooth as you wish. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the dip to a bowl, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to keep a skin from forming. When the bowl is cool enough, refrigerate until ready to serve. Let the dip come to room temperature.
Serve with crackers or vegetables, or use as a sandwich spread with roasted vegetables or grilled chicken.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
White bean garlic dip
Goat cheese-olive empanadas
Grilled vegetable and goat cheese puff pastry tart with zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and onions
Turkey and white bean chili
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Baked white bean dip with rosemary and parmesan, from Pinch My Salt
White bean soup with bacon, feta, thyme and lemon, from Soup Chick
Cannellini beans, broccoli and tomatoes with Dijon vinaigrette, from Poor Girl Eats Well
Vegetarian mushroom and cannellini bean ragout, from Cookin' Canuck
Spicy cannellini bean salad with tuna, peperoncini, and parsley, from Kalyn's Kitchen
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