Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spread the love with Cranberry Bean and Pesto Spread

While I was preparing for my culinary class this week, I was pondering just what I could do to make a bean spread that was creative. Who hasn't tried hummus with sun-dried tomatoes, or pesto, or roasted bell peppers? But then again, although I've tried all those as store-bought brands, I've never actually made them.

So I rather boringly decided to throw together a bean dip made with cranberry beans that we pressure-cooked (in under an hour, oh my!) mixed with pesto ingredients. Boring, perhaps, but also dang delicious! So delicious, I just must share it with you!

Cranberry Bean Spread with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
2 teaspoons oil from sun-dried tomato jar
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
2 cups cooked cranberry beans
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup water
1 teaspoon salt
Dash freshly ground black pepper

Chop garlic in a food processor, then add pine nuts, followed by sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, all with the motor running. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the basil. Add some of the olive oil if needed to help blend the basil. When processed ingredients have a similar consistency, add the beans. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the right consistency has been reached. Add salt and pepper, then adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with crackers or flat breads and vegetables.

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