This post is part of a group called Progressive Eats, a virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month is hosted by Jane Evans Bonacci, the author of The Heritage Cook. We’re featuring aphrodisiac-filled dishes perfect for a romantic Valentine’s Day meal. At the end of the post you will find all the delicious recipes including drinks, appetizers, main course, sides dishes and dessert!
White Bean Hummus Style Dip – A New Twist on an Old Tradition
In the United States, hummus is generally eaten as a dip for carrots and pita chips. In Israel and other countries in the Middle East, hummus is a meal to be shared with friends and family, accompanied by pita bread fresh from the oven, bean or meat toppings on the hummus, and sometimes falafel and the ubiquitous Israeli chopped salad. I’ve served this dip as an appetizer but white beans are high in protein and you could certainly turn this into a vegan or vegetarian main course.
Is it Hummus if you use White Beans?
The word hummus, in both Arabic and Hebrew, actually means chickpea as well as denoting the spread made from the protein-filled bean. When I developed this recipe for white bean hummus and called it so, my social media friend and brilliant chef and co-author of Jerusalem: A Cookbook, Sami Tamimi was quick to correct me – if it’s not made with chickpeas, it’s not hummus. But what I do borrow from hummus, is the method for making it. Using ice water as part of the liquid and letting it whir in the food processor for several minutes – not just until smooth. I taught this dip to a cooking class and they were amazed by the change in texture from “just combined” to several minutes more of whizzing in the food processor.
Basil and Pine Nuts – A LOVEly Addition
But where does the aphrodisiac part of white bean hummus style dip come into play? Well according to some of my online research basil and pine nuts both fall in the “love food” category. And if you are already a pesto lover, you know they marry well together. As for finding basil year round, I have seen it here in Northern California even when it is far too cold to grow it, so I’m hoping you can rustle some up year round where you live too. If not, see if your grocer carries Gourmet Garden lightly dried herbs – you can substitute in some of their basil instead using the equivalents they suggest on the package – about half as much dried as fresh.
Optional Toppings and Delightful Dippers
Toppings are the best part of making this dip – use your creativity. Toasted pine nuts are highly recommended – adding great flavor and texture – but if your pantry includes some middle eastern spices – try za’atar, Turkish/Syrian peppers like marash and aleppo, sumac, and of course don’t forget a good glug of your favorite olive oil – one that you would use in a salad dressing uncooked.
As for what to dip in it – fresh vegetables are perfect such as persian cucumbers, carrots, radish, snow peas. And some pita chips or fresh pita bread pairs beautifully as well. Leftovers? Don’t forget to spread it on your sandwiches or make a really hip “toast” with this dip, some avocado, and finish it with za’atar, dukkah, or just some salt and pepper.
Hope you enjoy this month’s #ProgressiveEats menu and have a LOVEly Valentine’s Day.
White Bean Hummus Style Dip with Basil, Pine Nuts and Meyer Lemon
- 2 15 ounce cans cannellini or great northern beans or white kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice regular lemon works too
- 1 - 2 cloves garlic, roasted roasting is optional
- 1 ounce fresh basil or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin OR oregano if possible, use whole cumin seeds, toasted and ground OR use dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 4 tablespoons ice water
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 4 teaspoons za'atar
- 1/2 teaspoon marash pepper
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- Pulse the white beans in the food processor 10 - 15 times until partially mashed.
- Add tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, basil, cumin (or oregano), and salt and pepper to the food processor and continue to mix for 1 minute. Pour in ice water and continue mixing for an additional 3 - 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Taste for seasoning and texture, adjust if necessary, and pulse to combine.
To serve, spread hummus in a serving bowl and top with olive oil, za'atar, marash pepper, sumac, and pine nuts to taste. Serve with fresh pita, pita chips, and/or vegetables for dipping.
Love Foods: Aphrodisiac Foods / Foods for Valentine’s Day
- Raspberry and Chocolate Sparkling Rose Cocktail from Creative Culinary
- Chipotle Orange Grilled Shrimp Cocktail Gluten Free from The Heritage Cook
- White Bean Basil Hummus Style Dip w Pine Nuts and Meyer Lemon from OMG! Yummy
- Rib-Eye Steak With A Sunny-Side-Up Egg & Arugula Salad from Food Hunters Guide
- Pan Seared Salmon and Asparagus with Mojo Verde from Spice Roots
- White Chocolate Frozen Mousse with Hazelnut Whipped Cream from The Red Headed Baker
- Oreo White Chocolate Fudge from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Valentine’s Day Simple Crepe Cake from Mother Would Know