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Recession-proof bean dip

October 29, 2008

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Serves 6
Smooth and garlicky, this spread begins with canned white beans, which are pureed with a little olive oil and crushed red pepper, then mixed with black olives. In a small bowl, the dip can look quite elegant.

1 can (about 1 pound) cannellini or other white beans
1 small garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1. Set a strainer over a bowl. Drain the beans without rinsing them; reserve the liquid from the can.

2. In a food processor, combine the beans, garlic, olive oil, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Pulse the mixture until it is smooth. Add enough of the liquid from the beans, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make a puree that holds its shape. Transfer to a bowl.

3. Stir in the olives and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper, if you like. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with crackers.

Sheryl Julian