Beans and roasted red pepper dip

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I had this beans and roasted red pepper dip in mind for quite some time, but somehow it was never the right moment to make it. Either I didn’t have the time to soak and cook the beans. Or I had all sorts of fava, azuki and mung beans but nowhere any common, plain old white bean vulgaris to be found in my kitchen. Then it was the matter of roasting the peppers. I don’t have an open flame stove or even a decent grill for that matter. Baking it in the oven is out of the question, the pepper loses its smoked roasted aroma while being oven cooked, and, what’s even worse, it gets so soaked in juices that it’s almost impossible to drain it.

So if your feeling of excitement when seeing this bean&pepper dip is immediately followed by images all soaking, cooking, roasting, pealing, draining and finally dismissing the whole idea, just know I feel you. I was in the same place. And I want to tell you, there are shortcuts. So you, absolutely, 100% can do it. Easily. And in some 15 minutes have this insanely amazing dip on the table.

And, speaking of the taste, omg! (am I supposed to write this in caps? I always kind of wandered…, anyway) OMG! It’s mind blowing! Roasted red peppers sweetness and smokiness beautifully marry the mild creaminess of the beans and intoxicating fresh basil, but if there is one thing that connects the dots and makes this particular recipe so gorgeous, it’s lemon and balsamico glaze that gave that zingy flavour that comes as an exciting surprise in the aftertaste.

Now, let’s get to business and talk about shortcuts. The beans one is obvious, open the can. Just make sure you rinse and drain the beans well. That’s all. I used two cans of white beans for one big jar of the dip. As for the roasted peppers, try to get them frozen if possible. Peal the skin while still half frozen and leave to defrost and drain well. If there are no frozen ones around, grab a jar of ajvar. You see, that’s exactly what this recipe is calling for: red pepper, acidity, oil and salt. So go easy on the rest of the spices and ingredients if you’re using ajvar as it is already half way there. I’m writing the recipe with the roasted peppers, not ajvar and I can’t tell you the exact quantity, but as you don’t have to blend ajvar, just mix it in, you can gradually add and find what tastes best for you.

Let’s get to it!

You’ll need 15 minutes and the following for about 400ml of the dip:

  • 2 cans of white beans or 250g of precooked white beans
  • 6 mid size roasted red peppers
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp balsamico glaze
  • 2 tsp paprika, you can add some chili powder if you like it hot
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • salt, pepper

Simply blend it all, salt and pepper to taste. Once it gets creamy, drizzle with olive oil and give it a mix. Keep in a fridge in a glass jar. And enjoy!

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