Let me introduce you to my current favorite appetizer for entertaining: White Bean Dip with Lemon Sage Olive Oil from Peace Meals. It’s absolutely delicious and looks really sophisticated, though it’s super easy and can be made ahead. I originally made it for a gourmet club meeting a few months back, and then re-made it this past weekend when we had friends over for dinner. It was a hit!
White Bean Dip with Lemon Sage Olive Oil
Makes 2 cups
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1 bay leaf
30 ounces canned white beans, drained and rinsed, with 3 tablespoons whole beans reserved for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
Fresh pita bread or crackers
Warm 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) of the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over low heat. Add the garlic and bay leaf, cooking gently for about 1 minute (do not overcook). Discard the bay leaf. Pour the oil and the sautéed garlic into a food processor or blender, setting the sauté pan aside for later use. Add the white beans, lemon juice, and salt to the food processor, and purée the mixture until smooth. Transfer the puréed dip to a serving bowl and top with the reserved whole beans. Heat the remaining 1/8 cup of olive oil in the sauté pan over medium. Add the sage and lemon zest, cooking just until the sage begins to curl and the zest begins to turn golden. Remove from heat and drizzle the infused oil, sage, and lemon zest over the bean dip. Serve warm or at room temperature with pita bread or crackers.
Source: Peace Meals
Yum, yum, yum. The texture of the dip is just like hummus, but the sage and lemon create a really distinct flavor profile. I usually feel like hummus is a bit tangy, but this is smooth, bright (from the lemon), and herbaceous (from the sage). It’s at its absolute best right when you’ve poured the warm oil, sage, and lemon zest over the top, but it’s still amazing made ahead. Just allow the oil on top to cool to room temperature, cover your dish with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and then set the dip out 30 or 45 minutes before serving to allow it to come to room temperature. You (and your guests) will love it!