This white bean dip had a definite process of getting it juuuust right. Too much Old Bay, not enough, too many white beans, you know the drill. Then finally, I last minute decided to add in a new to me ingredient, hearts of palm. I’ve been seeing hearts of palm on a lot of vegan cooking recipes lately, to be used as a substitute for crab in crab cakes or to give that ‘seafood’ texture. I thought they would be a weird, gross thing in a can that I would NOT want to use, but as it turns out, they are pretty normal, so that’s on me for judging too quickly! After I added in the hearts of palm this dip went from ‘pretty good’ to ‘pretty DANG good’. Before I even had the opportunity to take these pictures I had dug into this white bean dip maybe 3 or 4 times, just swiping a bit with a cracker here and there until I realized I just needed to get on with it and take picture before I ate the whole container. This recipe was almost named ‘crab’ dip, but I hesitate to equate hearts of palm with crab and I realized that eating something described as crab dip..that isn’t really crab can weird people out. Think of this dip as more of a white bean hummus/dip that is just trying to be fancy with a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning and a dipping of garlic toasts.
A word on the garlic rubbed toasts; crackers and tortilla chips go just fine with this dip, but if you are looking to be a little bit fancy and want to tell people you made garlic rubbed toasts (which is really just slices of a baguette rubbed with garlic), it will be so worth it. But, don’t go overboard like I did and use almost a whole head of garlic rubbing one sheet pan’s worth of toasts. This much garlic will result in a.) the whole kitchen smelling like a hot head of garlic, for days and b.) a really spicy/bitter taste when you take the first bite of one of the toasts because hoooly cow there’s so much garlic on there. My rule of thumb would be to go light on the garlic rubbing, taste one, then go back and add more if needed. It’s easy to go overboard when the toasts are hot and it just looks so delicious when you rub that melting garlic clove into the crunchy bread, but just don’t do it, just don’t!
Once again, this dip is a product of my perusing through my new favorite book, the Vegetarian Flavor Bible. In the front section there is a ‘If you are craving this..have this’ chart, which includes craving solutions for cheese, bacon, and everything else a vegan/vegetarian might get a hankering for. One of the best things I’ve learning from reading the book is that cravings aren’t necessarily about the food themselves, but the flavor profiles that go along with them. You might be craving bacon, but really are you craving the salty flavor or the smoky flavor instead of the bacon itself? I can’t say enough good things about this book and hope I continue to get recipe ideas in the process.
White Bean Dip with Garlic Rubbed Toasts
- 2 cans white beans or Cannellini beans
- 1 can hearts of palm can be found near canned artichokes, etc
- 2-3 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1-2 tablespoons hot sauce or siracha depending on taste
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried dill fresh would work too, just increase the amount added
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- For the toasts:
- 1 small baguette sliced in 1/2 in slices
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
In the bowl of a blender or food processor, combine 1 can (not both!) of white beans, Old Bay seasoning, nutritional yeast, siracha, paprika, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper. Blend on low to medium until smooth and creamy. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining can of white beans and the can of hearts of palm. With a fork, mash the beans and hearts of palm together slightly, leaving a fair amount of chunks. The hearts of palm may be a bit harder to break apart, so your your hands or another fork, if necessary.
Combine the blended white bean mixture and the mashed mixture into another bowl or storage container, stirring until combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the toasts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease a cookie sheet or line with a Silpat sheet. Place the pre sliced baguette onto the cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they become crispy. Be sure to flip the toasts about halfway through the baking process in order to make sure they are crispy on both sides. When removed from the oven, lightly rub a bit of garlic on each toast.