SERVES 8 TO 10
Mmmmm, I just had some of this Pesto Bean Dip for lunch. So delicious, there might not be any left for my Christmas Dinner appetizer! Silky bean puree topped with brightly flavored pesto makes a healthy and very festive dip. (For silkiest texture, use organic canned beans.) For quick prep, the two parts can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator, leaving time on the day of your dinner to focus on other dishes. Bring the pesto to room temperature before serving. Light green celery leaves are a delicious alternative to baby arugula. For dippers, try carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, endive spears, fennel, cherry tomatoes or gluten-free multigrain tortilla chips.
3 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 cups basil leaves, packed
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
-Freshly ground black pepper
Garbanzo Bean Puree
Half a small white onion, chopped finely
2 (15-ounce) cans Garbanzo beans, preferably organic, drained, liquid reserved
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Lemon zest from 1 lemon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt-Freshly ground black pepper
-Vegetables and gluten-free tortilla chips, for dipping
1. To make the pesto, place pumpkin seeds, garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt in a food processor or blender and process to grind. Add chopped fresh basil. With the machine running, pour in oil, stopping as soon as all the oil is added. Mix in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer pesto to a covered container.
2. To make the Garbanzo bean puree, mince the small white onion and pour into blender or food processor. Add drained beans, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and cayenne pepper and blend until smooth. If necessary, add reserved bean liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach a creamy consistency. Add extra sea salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Place bean puree in a shallow serving dish and drizzle the pesto over it. Serve the Pesto Bean Dip with fresh vegetables and/or gluten-free tortilla chips for dipping
TIP No need to wash your food processor between making the pesto and bean puree. Any bits of pesto remaining in the bowl add extra flavor to the puree.
Happy, healthy Christmas entertaining!
Blessings of the season,