This was an incredibly busy and fulfilling weekend. Saw my Portland loves, went to the beach, bought some new records and spent last night celebrating the impending nuptials of my dear friends Amy and Steve. In the midst of all that I did a little cooking and even baked my dad a cake. I lifted the cake recipe off FoodMayhem. Basically, the recipe is for a Blueberry Coconut Cream Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. I followed this recipe precisely (a rarity for me) and overall was pretty pleased with the results. The icing and blueberries were totally delicious but I found the cake part to be a bit crumbly and almost dry which was slightly disappointing. The recipe's bake time was too long for my oven and I had the cakes popped out after about 26 minutes versus the suggested 30. So word of advice, watch the cakes closely.
For yesterday's backyard appetizer buffet engagement party I decided to whip up a little dip to bring to the happy couple and the bride-to-be's parents.
White Bean Pesto Dip & Sandwich Spread
I have to admit that I sort of just made this recipe up as I went along. It's based on basic pesto sort of like this one, but the white beans to give the mixture more volume and a little less tang making it a great summer dip. I had some for lunch spread across grilled eggplant.
- 3 cups of basil, packed
- 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 1-15 oz. can of white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- salt & pepper
- Toast pine nuts on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 8-10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- Add basil, garlic and pine nuts to the food processor and pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped.
- Pour in half of the white beans, olive oil and lemon juice and process until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the remaining white beans, olive oil and lemon juice. Pulse until combined thoroughly.
- Transfer the mixture to bowl and fold in the parmesan cheese.
Yields about 2 to 3 cups (I didn't measure, bad blogger). I filled up two jars worth with a little leftover. The little jars made for cute gifts.
You can really play around with this recipe. For me, I use less olive oil and more lemon juice for that extra zing. Great as a dip for pita bread and fresh veggies or across a sandwich with grilled veggies or cold cuts. Snack time!