Monday, March 2, 2009

Baked White Bean Artichoke Dip

I've loved artichokes since I was a kid. There's something novel about scraping the butter-dipped meat of the choke leaves off with your teeth for a light summertime snack. (OK, maybe not so light, but definitely delicious.) It wasn't until I became an adult that the world of artichoke dip was opened up to me. But if you're like me, you feel more than a little guilty dipping into the artery-clogging dip with your equally calorie-laden chip. I came across a recipe substitute that cuts out the bad-for-you mayonnaise without cutting out the creaminess -- pureed cannellini beans. Who knew?!

Bakes White Bean Artichoke Dip
1 can white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 14 oz. can non-marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup light mayonnaise (do not use fat free)
1 cup grated Swiss or Monterey Jack cheese
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup crumbed bacon bits

1. Puree rinsed and drained white beans in food processor until smooth.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients except bacon bits. Mix (do NOT puree) until fully incorporated.
3. Spray baking dish with cooking spray, then pour dip into dish. Sprinkle top with bacon bits.
4. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until bubbly.
5. Serve warm with chips, crackers or pita.

Lessons learned: I originally made the recipe without adding salt. I think it really needs some. The recipe I used also called for chopped green onions. I omitted them, but if I have some on hand, I'll probably include them next time. Or, I'll throw in some onion powder and call it good.
I'm not sure why fat-free mayo won't work. It probably affects the taste in an adverse way.

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