White Bean and Basil Dip with Homemade Pita Chips

Some appetizers are healthier than others, but healthy doesn’t have to inherently mean less tasty. My family got together over the weekend to celebrate my mom and sister’s birthdays, and since I knew my mom would be providing plenty of crowd-pleasing cheesy, chippy snacks, I thought I’d take the opportunity to make a bean dip.

The ingredients are simple — 2 cans of white beans, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and fresh basil. Add to it a bowl of homemade baked pita chips and fresh veggies and you’ve got a healthy alternative (or addition) to your appetizer offerings.

white bean dip with homemade pita chips

The white bean dip recipe comes from the latest Moosewood cookbook — Moosewood Restaurant Favorites. I just received a copy as a Christmas gift and was eager to try it out, so the timing was perfect.

moosewood restaurant favorites

Moosewood suggests serving the dip (or spread) with crusty bread, fresh mozzarella, and roasted plum tomatoes, which sounds delicious, but I opted to serve mine hummus-style with some cut up vegetables and a bowl of homemade pita chips.

Homemade pita chips are also easy to make, and in my opinion, taste a whole lot better than the ones from the store. By seasoning and baking them yourself, you can control the flavor and texture. I like to leave my pita bread “double thick” so the resulting chip is hearty, and sometimes even the littlest bit chewy in the center. Seasoning options are endless, but some good places to start are Italian (a regular Italian seasoning mix works great), Mexican (adding chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes), or Cinnamon-Sugar for your sweet tooth. Alternatively, you can stick with just olive oil and sea salt.

white bean dip with pita chips

I’ll definitely be making both of these again, and I can’t wait to try a few more recipes from the cookbook!

White Bean Dip and Basil Dip
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Favorites

Ingredients
3 cups cooked white beans (or 2 15 oz. cans), drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup minced fresh basil

Directions
Combine the minced garlic and olive oil in a food processor and pulse until the garlic is pulverized. Add all remaining ingredients except the basil and puree until the beans are smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the minced basil. Chill until ready to serve.

Yield: 3 cups

Click to view and print the recipe for White Bean and Basil Dip

Homemade Pita Chips

Ingredients
4 rounds pita bread (1 package)
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon seasoning of your choice
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Cut the pita rounds into eighths. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil. Arrange the wedges on the sheets in an even layer, then whisk together all of the ingredients and brush onto the chips. For best results, coat both sides of the pita. Sprinkle with seas salt, if you like, then bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through to ensure even baking.

Yield: 32 thick chips

Click to view and print the recipe for Homemade Pita Chips

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Categories: Dips & Appetizers

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3 Comments on “White Bean and Basil Dip with Homemade Pita Chips”

  1. Wayne Chapman
    January 20, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    If you don’t have fresh basil readily available, will dried basil do ? If so, how much would you use ? (I’m assuming you would fold the dry basil in with the other ingredients)

    Thanks–I enjoy your columns in Yankee and your posts.

    WSC

    Typos courtesy of my iPad

    >

    • January 20, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

      Hi Wayne! Fresh basil is best (and the slivers of leaves look pretty in the dip), but you can swap in dried basil if you don’t have any fresh. According to the general rule of thumb when it comes to herbs, you need three times the amount of fresh as dry. Since there are 4 tablespoons in 1/4 cup, I’d say a heaping tablespoon of dried basil is good, and just mix it in when you’re done pureeing the dip. Thanks so much for your comment — so glad to have you as a reader!

  2. Anonymous
    January 25, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

    I made the dip and pita chips tonight. Delicious!! I have a new favorite appetizer. I only wish I baked more pita chips. They are gone…

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