When I was a kid, my mom had us eat cloves of raw garlic during the winter for its immune system boosting effects. Even though we were pretty skeptical, we still did it because she swore that it helped ward off colds and the flu. As an adult, I verified her claim and found out that garlic has a ton of other great health effects — antioxidant, anti-microbial and anti-hypertension, among many others. But all that is just an added benefit to its superb flavor. No matter what kind of cuisine you’re making or where in the world you’re eating, you’re likely to find garlic as a flavor base.
But because I love the flavor of garlic all on its own, every once in a while I think it should be more than the base — it should be the star of a dish. One of my favorite ways to do that is in this white bean dip. The beans are a neutral way to carry the flavor of the raw garlic and they bring a great hearty texture and slightly earthy flavor as well. Some fresh herbs and a generous amount of lemon juice help balance everything out and what you’re left with is an addictively delicious dip that you might finish before your guests even arrive.
- 2 16-oz cans of cannellini beans
- 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic*
- juice of one lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put the beans, garlic and parsley into a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds. Once everything is incorporated, stream the oil in slowly with the food processor running.
- When the texture is at a consistency that you like, add a couple of pinches of salt and the lemon juice and pulse for 10 more seconds.
- Serve with crackers, lentil chips or warm pita bread