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Artichoke And White Bean Dip

Stew is to winter and fall as dip is to spring and summer. Portable and non-temperature sensitive, dips are perfect for so many summery, sunny outdoor occasions. I love nothing more than relaxing on a cushy blanket unfolded onto a shady patch of grass, a tall glass of iced mint tea and a hummus-laced pita by my side. Or maybe I stretch myself out on an Adirondack chair, basking in the sun* on my open deck, with a side of refreshing carrots and creamy dip to cool off my taste buds. (*Soaking up my daily dose of vitamin D, obviously.)

I always enjoy whipping up a good dip, as they nearly always elicit great taste, and lend themselves perfectly to potlucks, picnics or picnic table parties. Whether served aside a platter of veggies, pita, and/or crackers, or smeared on a sandwich and stored away in your backpack, dips (vegan in particular) are born to head outside on bright, warm days for your outdoor eating pleasures. Maybe it’s just because I’m addicted to hanging outdoors, but to me, nothing beats dining outside.

Plus, dips give me just one more excuse to use my food processor. Which I obviously love. Throw everything into its body, give it a whirl, and voila. Who doesn’t love easy recipes like that?

The following dip calls on white beans and artichokes for its bulk, and Old Bay for its commanding seasoning. It yields a flavor different from nearly any other dip I’ve ever tasted, which is refreshing in itself. While the recipe doesn’t utilize fresh artichokes, it still celebrates the flavors of spring. Serve with crackers, veggies, or as Horizon’s suggest, on a vegan BLT.

The following recipe is an adapted version from Horizons: New Vegan Cuisine

Artichoke And White Bean Dip

-1-12 oz. jar unmarinated artichokes, drained
-1-15 oz. can cannelini beans
-1/2 cup onion, chopped
-1 tsp. garlic, crushed
-1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
-1/4 cup vegan mayo
-1 tsp. black pepper
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
-2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Blend all ingredients in a food processor, leaving as coarse or as creamy as desired. Garnish with parsley or cilantro, if desired.