You know the occasions when you have asked people for supper, then you get home 5 minutes before they are due to arrive and nothing is prepared? I think that a bowl of dip is the perfect casual starter. Easy to throw together from store cupboard staples and the contents of my co-op veg box, the colour is guaranteed to make anyone smile. Rather than using tinned beans all the time I usually cook dried beans then freeze them ready to be used, it is cheaper and better for the environment and I prefer the taste. However tinned beans are undeniably highly convenient and I keep a few tins in the cupboard ready for instant useage.
I am a huge fan of the vaccum packed cooked beetroot, they will keep for ages, taste great and add a vibrant splash of colour. The dip was actually far more colourful than the photo shows.
This is another contribution to my series of easy, economical and healthy recipes of what to do with the contents of the co-op “boxes” for the Food Co-ops and Buying Groups project run by Sustain – also part of the Making Local Food Work programme funded by the Big Lottery.
Beetroot and Cannellini Bean Dip (Serves 4)
1 tin cannellini beans (410g)
1/2 packet cooked beetroot (or about 4oz / 125g)
glug olive oil
1 clove garlic
zest of one lemon
1 spring onion* (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Simply open the can of beans and rinse well. Put all the ingredients into your food processor (or into a tall pot and use a stick blender) and blend well. Season to taste. Serve with crudites and strips of pitta bread. I used some chives from my window box to garnish – you could use the green part of a spring onion finely chopped.
* I have noticed a growing trend to call spring onions “salad onions”. I am suspecting some directive that has decided that as they are not exclusively available in the spring that the name is a misnomer? I almost prefer the American term “scallion” which to me aptly alludes to a scally wag and youthfulness?