Romanian white bean dip


This is my take on the traditional Romanian recipe I savoured oh so many times growing up. We would usually serve it with polenta and sauerkraut but spreading it on a slice of crusty bread is equally delicious! This is one of those dishes that prove that simple is best and that a few basic kitchen staples can provide an amazing amount of flavor and satisfaction. 

Ingredients
- 2 cups white beans, washed and soaked overnight then drained
- 3 onions, 1 whole and 2 minced
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons sunflower oil (or other vegetable oil of your choice)
- salt and pepper, to taste

Place the beans in a large stockpot, cover with plenty of water, add the bay leaf and the onion that you kept whole, and bring to a boil. Cook, on low heat, until beans are tender (the time required will depend on the freshness of the beans used). Discard onion (or eat it, that's what I do!) and bay leaves. Place beans in a blender, add about 1/2 cup of their cooking water, the garlic, season with salt and pepper and add the olive oil then blitz until you reach a smooth consistency. Add more of the beans' cooking water if the dip is too thick. Scoop out the dip and place it into the serving bowl.
Heat the sunflower oil, add minced onions, sprinkle with salt and fry until golden, stirring often especially towards the end. Sprinkle with the paprika and, stirring continuously, cook for about 30 seconds, on low heat. Use the caramelized onions to garnish the dip. Serve warm or cold and enjoy!



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