I recently took a trip to Italy. Beyond the gorgeous view and kind folks we encountered, the food was, as expected, delicious. Fresh tomatoes and basil with almost every dish. If not fresh tomatoes, they used sun-dried. Picked from a bundle hanging directly over your head as you sat down for lunch at these out-door restaurants. I never made sun-dried tomatoes personally, but it seems fairly simple after looking at their dozens of hanging tomato vines decorating the lattice ceiling.
Have tomatoes on the vine that are getting a bit too old? String them up outdoors and let nature do the rest. Something about a sun-dried tomato is much different than fresh. They have a wisdom to them; an aged texture and taste no freshly picked tomato will amount to. Let’s face it, they’ve been through a lot and they show it in their wrinkling appearance and aged tangy flavors.
This dip is inspired by those hanging bundles of tomatoes we saw in Italy. By the wisdom not only present in these shriveled red beauties, but that which filled the air in that small Italian town on the coast. Everyone was filled with this wisdom and expressed it in every dish we were served. I hope to transfer that, if but a little, to this dip for you to enjoy.
It’s a savory replacement from your average hummus. A zesty addition for your next open-faced sandwich. Something you can whip together when gathering for your next family barbeque.
This dip is tangy and herby and full of flavors to honor the wisdom present in all Italian cooking and classic tomato and basil combinations.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
What You’ll Need:
- 1 can white cannellini or northern white beans
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 10 sun-dried tomatoes (or 1/4 cup)
- 2 T freshly chopped chives
- 2 T freshly chopped basil
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus 1 T for cooking)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 T water (if needed)
- 1 tsp sea salt, or more to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper
What to Do:
- In a small saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add chopped onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until cooked through and browned a bit.
- Combine cooked onions and garlic with the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. If it is too thick, add your 1 tablespoon of water.
- Taste and add salt if needed. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve chilled.
Makes about 16 oz of dip
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