Last week, I came across this fun holiday finger-food combination generator in the New York Times.
Just saying that makes me feel all smarty-pants with a dash of pretension. Sometimes I read Newsweek too.
Anyway, back to the NYT article. It suggests that you can create thousands of holiday finger-foods by merely using a base, a spread and a finishing touch. For example: base, toasted baguette; spread, goat cheese; finishing touch, sun-dried tomatoes. Wha-la! Instant appetizer. The article contained the above chart to help generate some ideas.
In the spread category, they do list a white bean mash, but one of my favorite holiday “spreads” takes the humble white bean to a whole ‘nother level. With the flavors of garlic, roasted red bell pepper and fresh basil highlighting the sweet mildness of the beans, it’s sure to be a hit. Not only that, but it’s easy to make and wonderfully versatile. And not only that, but since it is free of sugar and bad fats and packed with protein, this is one holiday indulgence you can feel good about in the morning.
To quote the late, great Charlie Sheen: It’s winning.
I am fully aware that Charlie Sheen is not dead. And also that he is not all that great. I do read the
recipe section of the New York Times, after all…
- 1 16 oz. can White Northern (also know as cannellini) beans
- 1 medium sized red bell pepper
- 1 large clove garlic
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- A handful of fresh basil leaves (10 -12)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat your oven's broiler.
- Coat clean and dry pepper with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place on baking sheep and slide under broiler.
- Broil, turning every few minutes, until the pepper's skin is blackened. Remove from oven and place pepper in a bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. (This will hold in the steam and loosen the skin, making the pepper easy to peel.)
- Once pepper is cool enough to handle (10 minutes or so) pull out stem and gently hand peel off skin.
- Cut pepper in half and remove seeds and membrane. Set aside.
- Place beans, garlic clove, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt in food processor or high powered blender. Blend until smooth, adding water if needed.
- Add basil and roasted pepper. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Taste and add black pepper and/or additional salt as needed.