Cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans, are rich in iron, protein and fiber, making them a favorite of vegetarians and vegans. I've topped my dip with caramelized red onions but you can leave those off if you prefer. If you want a spicier dip with peppery zip, use hot smoked paprika instead of mild. Feel free to adjust the seasoning amounts to suit your taste. The better the quality of the balsamic vinegar, EVOO, and smoked paprika that you use, the deeper and more complex the flavor of the dip.
I blended this dip in my food processor for a smooth texture. If you prefer a more rustic, less smooth texture with bits of garlic and bean, use a fork or a potato masher to mash the beans and then stir everything together until thoroughly combined. Serve my smoky white bean dip with raw vegetables, crackers, pita chips, pretzels or other dippables. You can also use it as a filling for wraps, flatbread and sandwiches, just like hummus.
1 can (15.5 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 Tbs dried oregano
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
3/4 tsp Kosher salt
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
Optional topping: Caramelized Red Onions (recipe below)
Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor and process to blend together, stopping as needed to scrape off the sides of the bowl to better combine. Drizzle in the olive oil while running the processor and continue to process until the oil is completely incorporated and the dip reaches your desired consistency. Serve topped with a spoonful or two of caramelized red onions if desired, or sprinkled with a dash of smoked paprika.
Caramelized Red Onions
1 Tbs olive oil or butter
1 cup roughly chopped red onion
Heat the oil or butter in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, stir to coat, and fry, stirring from time to time, until the onions begin to turn golden. Reduce heat and continue to cook, stirring regularly to prevent burning, until the onions turn a deep golden-brown color. Remove from heat and spoon as much as you'd like over the white bean dip. Refrigerate the rest in an airtight container for other uses--caramelized onions are delicious in sandwiches, burgers, salads, etc.