Tuesday, July 5, 2011

White Bean and Chickpea Spread with Cumin and Cilantro

You know how chickpeas are slightly too thick to make a good spread, and white beans are slightly too watery?

I think I may have had a culinary epiphany. Or possibly the 100 degree weather has addled my brain. Regardless, this was both easy to make and delicious. I have witnesses.

1-2 cups cooked chickpeas
1-2 cups cooked cannelini beans
1 small clove fresh summer garlic
(if you don't like the bite of raw garlic, try using a clove or two of roasted or boiled garlic -- just add one clove at a time to avoid overpowering the flavor of the other ingredients)
Fresh cilantro (again, use sparingly -- try a five-fingered pinch of leaves to start)
1 tbsp(ish) olive oil
Generous sprinkling of cumin
Dash or two paprika
Pinch or two salt (unless your beans are already highly salted)
A little freshly ground white pepper
2-3 radishes, julienned

Toss all the ingredients except the radishes in a Cuisinart and blend until smooth. Adjust the beans to chickpea ratio until you've got your desired consistency, and adjust all the herbs and spices to taste (too little spice? Add more cumin. Too much cilantro? Add a few more white beans to dilute it down again).

Serve with or over toasts or crackers (I think thinly sliced, toasted french bread would be perfect, but all we had was crackers, and that worked well too). Garnish with julienned radishes and a few leaves of cilantro if desired.

Serves 2-4 alongside other small plates for tapas.

Pairs amazingly well with a $5 bottle of Honey Moon Viognier (available at Trader Joe's. I know, we're classy).

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