Two words. Crowd pleaser. I’ve never had someone -except for my partner- say they didn’t like this dip. To be fair now my partner loves it…I’m pretty sure he said he didn’t like it because he used to like being an asshole when we first met. Lets just say that didn’t last long.
Yesterday we had our Australian/Israeli “Parents” over for dinner. This is a wonderful couple who hosted us when we first moved to Australia. They are Israeli and are friends of friends….but you’d never know it by how welcoming they were. Homemade food. A sparkling house to stay in. They spoiled us rotten. Now I try to return the favour every chance I get. We shared our news ‘We are pregnant!’ with them last night – and they were very excited. Well…actually they kind of saw me and knew we were pregnant before we ‘told’ them. Either way it is always lovely to see them – as they are my favourite dinner guests here in Brisbane.
Towards the end of the meal I was asked for this recipe. Caramelised Onion Bean Dip. I don’t think she believed me when I told her how simple the recipe actually is. This recipe has minimal ingredients – it just requires your time. Low ‘n’ slow cooking. I’ll say it again. LOW AND SLOW COOKING. There is no way to hurry this recipe along. It won’t taste good. But this is a great dish for get togethers and something that you can cook while you do everything else you need to: clean, organise, cook other food, bake, drink, shower..etc etc. You can get everything done for a get together whilst making this.
Caramelised Onion Bean Dip
~2 1/2 – 3 large sweet onions, diced
~1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
~Sea salt to taste
-Toasted Pine Nuts
1) In a large pot, that has a top, add your diced onions a sprinkle of sea salt, and a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well. Turn the heat to medium/low and place the top on your pot. Allow the onions to sweat and cook for about 20 minutes – be sure to stir them every couple minutes to keep them browning evenly. It will take a good 5-10 minutes for these to really start cooking down – be patient and it will pay off.
2) Remove the top from your pot and cook for another 20-30 minutes without a top. If the mixture looks dry or is sticking profusely to the bottom of the pan simply drizzle a little more olive oil over the onions. Be sure to stir onions while they caramelise regularly so they continue to brown evenly – be sure to scrape the bottom of your pan with your wooden spoon.
3) Once the onions are caramelised turn off the burner and allow your onions to cool. Place onions, beans, a hearty pinch of sea salt, and a drizzle of olive oil into a food processor or if you are using a hand blender place all your ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix together until fully incorporated. The dip will have a smooth velvety texture if you are using a food processor. A hand blender will produce a slightly more ‘rustic’ looking dip. Taste the dip and add more sea salt if desired. Blend again. Keep tasting, adding sea salt, and blending until the dip tastes just right. NOTE: the flavour of the dip will intensify slightly once you chill it in the fridge – so over salting during this step can lead to an uber salty dip later.
4) Scrape out your dip into a serving dish and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Once you are ready to serve sprinkle with smoked paprika, a drizzle of olive oil, and any other topping you desire. Be sure to leave the toppings until right before you serve this dish as sometimes the toppings lose their integrity if sitting in the fridge for long.
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