To be honest, I had a hard time deciding what to call this slow cooker white bean, garlic and olive concoction. Dip? Sandwich spread? Pizza topping? Yes, yes, and yes. If you love assertive flavors, this dish will make you happy. The creamy white beans serve as a base for plenty of garlic, and just a few kalamata olives, and, of course, for lots of cheese. The slow cooker does most of the work, with a quick zap from an immersion blender at the end (a potato masher will get you to the same result, with a bit more elbow grease). I haven't tried it, but I'm thinking that some flatbread spread with this white bean mixture, topped with fresh arugula and maybe a sliced fig, would be divine. You can make this white bean dip a couple of days in advance, and reheat in the microwave before serving.
Slow cooker white bean, garlic and olive dip or spread
Adapted from Cooking Light Slow Cooker Tonight!, this recipe makes 16 servings.
1/4 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 15-oz cans cannellini or small white beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup water
1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
3 oz grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1-1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, rinsed, drained and finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Spray the inside of a 3-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add the olive oil and sliced garlic. Cover, and set to HIGH. Cook for 15 minutes, to infuse the oil with garlic.
Add the beans, water, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, thyme and black pepper. Reduce the heat to LOW. Cover and cook for 3 hours.
Unplug the cooker. Use an immersion blender (carefully!) or a wooden masher to process the dip to the consistency you like. I like it a bit chunky, but you can pureé until it's very smooth.
Plug in the cooker again. Stir in the olives and lemon zest, and cook on LOW for 30 minutes. Taste, and season as needed with salt and pepper.
Serve warm, with crackers or pita bread triangles.
More creamy beans in The Perfect Pantry:
Greek hummus with white beans and feta
Farro and kale salad with white beans and slow-roasted (or sun-dried) tomatoes
Turkey and white bean chili
Pasta bow ties with broccoli, white beans, pine nuts and feta
Slow cooker lemon-garlic chicken and white bean stew
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
White bean and tuna salad, from Simply Recipes
White beans and cabbage, from Steamy Kitchen
White bean and roasted mushroom soup, from She Wears Many Hats
Spicy Sriracha hummus bean dip, from White on Rice Couple
White bean and garlic scape dip, from Brown Eyed Baker
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