Roasted Jalapeño & Garlic White Bean Dip

Who doesn’t love a good dip? That’s a serious question.

I can’t think of a single person I know who would completely pass up an opportunity to engage in some cracker/chip/veggie dunking-to-mouth action. It’s a total snacktivity that gets everyone involved, which is always nice…except if you run with a crowd of double dippers. But that’s an etiquette situation for another day.

I’m always looking for good uses for roasted garlic besides eating whole cloves straight out of their husks. (I know, I have a problem!) Sometimes I have the decency to spread them on a deserving piece of bread and other times I’ll toss them in a salad with some roasted veg. But why not combine my beloved roasted garlic with a little bit of subdued peppery heat and some savory cannellini beans? Like I said (rhetorically this time), who doesn’t love a good dip?

This is basically hummus but with white beans subbing in for the chickpeas. I love the velvety texture that the white beans lend to the base of the dip, and their creamy flavor matches up perfectly with the sweet caramelized garlic and slightly spicy, but earthy jalapeños. As with hummus, you can use a little warm water to thin out the dip gradually, until you’ve got the consistency you’re looking for. No excessive oil necessary.

Roasted Jalapeño & Garlic White Bean Dip
– 1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) cooked white beans
– 1/2 roasted head of garlic, cloves removed from the rough husks
– 1 large fresh jalapeño pepper, roasted and roughly chopped
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1/4-1/2 cup water
– salt
– toasted chopped walnuts or pepitas to garnish

To roast jalapeño pepper and garlic: Pre-heat oven to 205 C/400 F. On an oiled piece of aluminum foil, place the head of garlic (with the bottom, woody part cut off) and a split and de-seeded jalapeño. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes, and remove the jalapeño (it should be golden brown in parts). Wrap the foil around the head of garlic and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes until fragrant and the cloves are golden brown.

For dip: Place white beans, about 5-8 roasted garlic cloves, chopped roasted pepper, olive oil and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Puree, stopping to add water – a little bit at a time until the consistency is smooth and creamy, adjust seasoning as needed. Top with toasted nuts or seeds if desired.

Refrigerate in an air tight container for up to 5 days.