I love hummus. I always have a tub sitting in my fridge, ready for peckish nibbling or for feeding to unexpected guests with a glass on wine. Hummus is great.
I’ve made it quite a few times back in my uni days, the proper way, from scratch. But soaking chickpeas overnight, then cooking them for hours and hours and waiting for them to cool down before actually making the hummus is pretty labour-intensive. I’ve tried making hummus from canned chickpeas, but can’t get over how much their smell (and hence taste) remind me ever so slightly of catfood…
So, for this recipe I’ve decided to ditch the standard chickpeas and make a dip from white cannelini beans – canned, since these actually smell and taste alright.
This recipe uses cashew nuts as a texture and flavour enhancer, but you could easily use hazelnuts or almonds instead. I also added a handful of basil, which adds a bit of summery freshness. Again, you could use olives instead, sundried tomatoes, pesto or toasted cumin seeds. There are so many variations to play with, just go wild and experiment!
White Bean and Cashew Nut Dip
Makes 1 bowl enough for 4 as an appetizer
60g cashew nuts
400g tin of cannelini beans (260g drained)
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp greek yoghurt or natural yoghurt
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 handul basil
salt + pepper
Start by dry-roasting the cashew nuts in a hot pan until they turn slightly golden and become fragrant. Put into a big bowl.
Drain the cannelini beans and add to the cashews in the bowl.
Peel the garlic clove and add to the beans, then add the yoghurt, olive oil and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
Using an electric hand blender (or a stand-free blender), blend the whole mix into a smooth paste (you can leave small bits if you like). If the paste gets too dry, add a splash of water or more yoghurt to make it smoother.
Chop the basil and add to the paste. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve with crackers or carrot sticks. This dip keeps covered in the fridge for 2 days.