Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Since my last post, Portland decided that she wanted to pull out her sweaters, scarves, and fuzzy hats - It's fall! Who knows, another dry spell might be waiting around the corner, but in my house and on the streets, it seems everyone is thinking one thing: Brrrrr. It may be chilly, and the rain might be here to stay (oy), but I'm happy as can be. I've got visions of hot apple cider, kids coming 'round on Halloween, and warm root vegetables and squash. Summer was amazing, and, let's be honest, it's still only September - my tomatoes, peppers, and yellow squash are finally making a good show in the garden - but I'm ready to embrace the colder months, buy some long nubby knit socks, and fill up on heartier fare.
But before I can do that, I need to finish up the bits and pieces in the freezer, fridge, and cupboards. Such a familiar refrain, huh? When I lived alone last year, I'd always find myself throwing out things that had gone bad - especially true of fruits and veggies. I've found that the best way to avoid this is to do a round-up every few weeks of the odds and ends in the kitchen. It may not be the prettiest, tastiest dish (though sometimes it is!) it feels good to know that everything is being put to use.
As I searched through the various shelves, I found a can of white beans, and was inspired. I had on hand a good amount of garlic, some basil from the garden, and some roasty vegetables from a Limbo dollar bag, so why not blend it all up into a dip/spread/delicious-mush-to-eat-straight-out-of-the-bowl?
I pureed a whole can of drain white kidney beans, threw in some water and red wine vinegar to get the mix going, and added some whole basil leaves and some of the roasted vegetables - eggplant, acorn squash, and roasted garlic (I had baked them for a little less than an hour in a 375 degree oven - I didn't have a timer, I just let my nose be my guide).
Oh, my. This was so good! I served it with an adorable purple bell pepper from my garden. The only problem I had was that my food processor, while being a great Cuisinart, is realllly tiny. Hey, mom? Dad? Want to help me out there?
So here it is, the clean-sweep dish of the week, Hodgepodge White Bean, Basil, and Roasted Fall Vegetable Dip. Feel free to use whatever you've got lying around - this isn't a recipe, it's a method!
Welcome to fall! Eat well, and come back soon.