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roasted red pepper & white bean dip (healthy but delicious)

May 14, 2011

This is such an easy recipe, and I’ve made it a bunch of times and it never gets old.   It goes perfectly with homemade pita chips, which we can talk about another time, but it’s also great with store-bought pita chips, crackers, chips, whatever you can get your hands on.

Emily and I first tried this recipe on what I think was our first Smitten Kitchen night, and some of the photos I’m including come from that night.  So it’s also historic.

The one real change I’ve made to the Smitten Kitchen recipe is to roast my own red peppers.  It’s not very hard, and in fact I picked up the method from another Smitten Kitchen recipe (her summer pea and roasted red pepper pasta salad – which I made for my brother’s Boy Scout troop, and they liked it, or at least ate it).   Frankly, I’m a law student and not rolling in dough, so I just never have the heart to buy the roasted red peppers in the jar, because at least at my grocery store, it’s always  more expensive than fresh red peppers.   But know that you can also use the jarred stuff, and I’m sure it would be delicious.

Roasted Red Pepper & White Bean Dip

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 15-oz can of white beans (I always use cannelini)
  • 1 cup of roasted red peppers – or 3 red peppers, if you’re going to roast them yourself
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • juice from half a lemon (and a little bit of the zest from the lemon if you want); store-bought lemon juice works fine here, too
  • 1/4 cup of green onions, chopped, optional

If you’re roasting the red peppers, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.   Wash the red peppers and put them on the baking sheet.  Place in the preheated oven and roast for about an hour, turning the red peppers with tongs every 15 minutes.   When they’re nice and blackened on the outside and blistery, take them out of the oven and let them rest.  You can let them get a lot darker than the ones that are pictured, but I was impatient that day.  Let them cool for about ten to fifteen minutes.    Other people quickly roast their peppers in the broiler for 15 minutes or so.   It’s up to you – I’ve never tried that method, because Deb suggested this method, and I trust her judgment.

Once the red peppers have cooled, transfer them carefully to a food processor.   Carefully pull off the top of the red peppers and put them aside.  Pull off the skin – if you’ve roasted the peppers for a nice long time, the skins will slide off easily.   Remove the seeds as best you can, but if some remain in there, it’s no big deal.  You can take the top, skin, and seeds off/out before putting them in the food processor, but I like to make sure all of the juices will get into the food processor.

Open the can of beans and drain the liquid.  Dump the beans in the food processor with the red peppers.  Add in the garlic, lemon juice, cream cheese, salt & pepper, and process until smooth.

Deb says you can also use a blender for this – I’ve never tried it, but I’m sure she’s right.

Add in the chopped green onions, stir, and serve.  Or leave on the counter and eat for hours.

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