Roasted Garlic and White Bean Dip
It seems my pandemic shopping has led to stocking up on more than just toilet paper and paper towels. Prior to the holidays, I purchased a 2-pound bag of garlic, thinking I certainly would use it all without a problem. Once I got home from the bustling grocery store, I quickly realized that two pounds of apples or potatoes is one thing, but two pounds of garlic is quite another!
Then as I flipped the kitchen calendar to January (yes, I still use one), I knew I needed to do something with about — gulp — a dozen or so bulbs left of garlic. Thanks to Overdrive and the Libby app, all I had to do was search “garlic” and a handy little cookbook popped up — Everything Tastes Better with Garlic: Positively Irresistible Recipes, by Sara Perry.
I chose to roast three bulbs in the oven, first by slicing off about a quarter of an inch of the top part of the bulbs and placing each bulb in the cup of a muffin tin. I drizzled about a teaspoon of olive oil on each bulb, then wrapped each in foil. I roasted them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour.
After the bulbs cooled, I simply squeezed the softened garlic cloves from their skins into a bowl. With three bulbs of roasted garlic, I had lots of options! A few cloves I stirred into whole wheat couscous for extra flavor, and a few more I saved to add to pasta sauce. With two bulbs’ worth, I chose to make a delicious spread for crackers or bread that doubles as a dip for veggies — Roasted Garlic and White Bean Spread. It calls for just three ingredients — cloves from two medium heads of roasted garlic, one 15-ounce can of white beans (I used cannellini), and half a teaspoon of coarse salt. To thin the spread, just add a little extra virgin olive oil.
Squeeze the soft, golden cloves out of their skins into the bowl of a food processor. Use the back of a spoon to mash the cloves against the side of the bowl. Add the beans and salt and process until the mixture is smooth and holds its shape. (If the mixture is too thick, stir in a little olive oil.) Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, if desired.
Other recipes featured in Everything Tastes Better with Garlic include grilled shrimp with tomatillo-garlic salsa; garlic, leek, and potato soup with whipped garlic cream; Asian slaw with garlic, ginger, and carrot dressing; garlic focaccia; and six cloves mac and cheese.
Everything Tastes Better with Garlic is available on Overdrive, here.