Last night I was making a cilantro bean dip and wasn’t going to take pictures of how I make it because I make hummus, vegetable/ herb pestos/ herbed hummus so often that I thought I had at least some of the recipes on the blog, but I checked and really don’t. So here goes.
As with any recipe you are going to make in the food processor using garlic, always process the garlic first as explained in this post on making aoli.
As you can see, we like garlic, and for bean dip or hummus I use about a half of a head of garlic or more. Next you always process separately the herbs or leafy vegetables like fresh spinach or chard… because you need to pulse the machine so as not to pulverize the leaves too much. I need to make a post on actually making a pesto, but this is how I process herbs such as basil to preserve them in olive oil in the in the freezer so I can pull out and make pesto or sauces… For this recipe I don’t process the herbs as finely as the basil in pesto.
I used three bunches of fresh cilantro, sad that in my own garden the bunny rabbits have mowed down everything I have planted so far, relishing the cilantro. Process each bunch separately, pulsing the machine and stopping it often to push down the herbs. Transfer each processed bunch to a bowl before processing the next bunch.
The only things I ever buy in cans are organic beans such as these white Great Northern beans, garbanzo beans for hummus and black beans. Drain the beans of any liquid. Our grocery store had a special on these organic beans, 10 cans for $10, so I stock up and keep these on hand. I used five 15 oz. cans for this recipe and processed three and then two because my food processor is not very large.
Process until smooth, adding some olive oil, to get the consistency you like.
I added 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt per can, and then added a bit more at the end for taste. Whole cumin seeds, cayenne pepper and a wonderful New Mexican red chile powder that a friend gave me went in as well.
For those of you who do not milk your own cow, or have access to raw milk, ignore this part. I am experimenting with making ricotta, quark and pressed cheese for a German friend who also is lucky enough to have her own cow which means lots of skim milk left over after separating the cream. I often just give the clabbered skim milk to our fat pigs, and have yet to come up with a truly consistent quark or ricotta method. Truly consistent will not be on my epitaph. Anyway I made quark last night and this firmer ricotta somehow rose to the top and was too dry to be a good ricotta, so I put it in the bean dip. It does not need it, but I did not want to waste it, and it does give the dip more body and flavor.
Now this next picture is just mean. I do feel for those who don’t have access to real, raw cream, but want to show what thick raw cream from a cream separator looks like. For heavens sake don’t go out and buy grocery store cream, as this dip does not need it, but since I used the dry ricotta I needed some more moisture, and the cream was calling out to me. The other reason I added some was that I wanted to lick the spoon.
Add the processed beans to the bowl of chopped cilantro and mix well. Lemon juice or lime juice helps balance out the flavors and for this I added the juice of three limes.
Serve with rounds of cucumber, crackers, sourdough bread, as a filling for celery, empanadas… or of course tortilla chips.
I always make big batches of hummus or bean dip to pack into jars and put in the freezer for a quick appetizer or snack. Leave a little headroom at the top of the jar and bang the filled jar on a towel on the counter a few times to get out any air bubbles and pour on some olive oil to seal it. When I have leftover hummus or dip in a jar in the refrigerator I always top it off with a little oil to keep the air out.
So basically any herb hummus or bean dip contains:
chopped herbs such as cilantro, Italian parsley, curled parsley, basil, Swiss Chard…
pulsed vegetables such as sautéed asparagus, green beans, broccoli, roasted peppers…
some sort of bean: garbanzo, white beans, red beans, black beans…
Real sea or mineral salt,
Olive oil for consistency
Some sort of acid like lemon/lime juice, sour kombucha, Apple Cider vinegar (flavored)
and olive oil on top.
It is great to have jars of goodness in the freezer to bring a friend or hostess gift.