This weekend the day of reckoning is finally coming for my garden. I'm going out there, I'm dragging my husband with me, and we are going to weed and prune and we're not going to stop until that garden is in good shape for fall. Because right now, I'm a few dozen cats and a head scarf away from Grey Gardens territory.
We decided we're also going to tear out the herb garden and start over again. For some reason, I thought rocks would be an effective weed barrier in there, but guess what? Weeds can grow between rocks! Huh, who knew?! So we're pulling out all the plants, somehow taking out the rocks (I'll let Chris figure out that one), putting down a weed barrier, planting new herbs, and then putting the rocks back. This is how you spend your weekends when you grow up. Enjoy your 20s while you can, kids.
The summer has been pretty unkind to my herbs, so unlike previous years, there will be no big batch of pesto this fall. But I did get enough basil leaves to make this Basil White Bean Dip. White bean dip might not be as glamorous and exotic as hummus, but I love that you can puree white beans with very little oil and they still get super creamy. White beans alone are kind of meh, so for me, adding flavor to white bean dip is a must, hence the fresh basil leaves. Toss in a garlic clove, a little bit of lemon juice, and some salt and pepper, give it a spin in your food processor, and you have a tasty afternoon snack!
But this dip isn't just for dipping! It makes an awesome sandwich spread too. As a vegetarian, bean dips and hummus serve a dual purpose in a sandwich--not only are they a sandwich spread, but they replace the protein too. I like putting a thick layer of this Basil White Bean Dip on the bread and piling the sandwich high with fresh veggies. If you're packing this as a lunch for work or school, spread the bean dip on both sides of the sandwich--that creates a barrier so the moisture from the fresh veggies won't soak through your bread and make it soggy.
- 1 ½ cups cooked cannellini beans or about 1 can, rinsed
- ¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the beans, basil, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice in a food processor. Process until basil is finely chopped and the dip is almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you're using this as a dip, you can top it with toasted pine nuts or fresh basil leaves before serving.