Summer is almost here and although I quite hate july´s terrible heat I am so happy to be able to start eating in the garden and gathering with friends making great picnics. A picnic, can be made with many simple healthy options, but sometimes either we grab anything convenient and highly processed or we tend to complicate it. I am usually one of the latest, but I have learned to simplify!! YEAH!! This week´s recipe is quite simple and easy but with an explosion of flavors that makes it a bit sophisticated.
The whole dish is buy the way, a complete meal on it´s own and you can make several different meals with it. For example the day I made the white bean dip, my husband put it in the plate like you can see on the pictures, then some whole rice in the middle and topped it with some wild asparagus, olive oil and lemon juice. Dinner ready: delicious and nourishing. Or you can make like a mini tapa with the recipe of the amazing crackers, and there you have another complete meal with protein, carbs, healthy fats and raw vegetables. A good sourdough bread is also a good option.
The salad makes a great first starter, now that we may crave more raw foods. It is cleansing as it purifies your blood among other things. You can skip capers if you like, but if you want to feel that combination of sour and sweet flavors it is important to add it!
I used a mandoline in order to cut the beetroot very thin. This is important for two reasons: first one, to make that crunchy touch (you all know how I love crunchy things), and the second reason is to make it pretty. If you don´t have one ( I encourage you to buy one as you can find them really cheap) you can cut it with a very sharpened knife o grate it.
For the white beans you can use a store-bought jar but I recommend you to make your own as its is easy, cheap, and tastier. You know that saying “cook once eat twice”, well that is the idea. Soak your raw beans in plenty of water for 24 hours. Drain and cook with an unpeeled onion, some bay leaves and some celery. Don´t add salt until they are fully cooked. Drain, keeping the broth that you will use later ( the rest you can use it to cook grains or make soup). Weight the amount you will use for the recipe and divide the rest in glass jars. Refrigerate. The next day, transfer your jars to the freezer to make a great stock! You can leave an amount to make a salad during the week.
Now let´s put you to work, taking advantage that I ended up with an easy recipe! Let´s see how your surroundings reacts to such powerful flavor combination.
Ingredients ( serves 4 people)
white bean dip:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
700 gr drained white beans
1 u garlic clove
1 tsp lemon zest
66 gr lemon juice ( a big lemon)
1/8 tsp freshly ground cumin
1 tsp FRESH !!!! rosemary chopped
60 gr extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
100/150 gr broth or water
2 u beetroots ( 240 gr once peeled)
2 u spring onions with the green part chopped
25 gr extra virgin olive oil
25 gr lemon juice
1 tbsp+1 tsp capers
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp FRESH rosemary very thinly chopped.
- For the dip, start grating the lemon zest and then make the juice adding another half lemon so you will have enough for the salad too.
- In a food processor blend all the rest of the ingredients until very creamy. Adjust with the broth and salt ( add first 100 gr of liquid and adjust because it can change each time). Keep in mind that it will harden after resting in the fridge. For the texture shown in the pictures I added 170 gr. Transfer to the fridge.
- For the salad, slice or cut the beetroot at 1 mm. Put it in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. You can make the salad ahead of time , but add the cappers before serving.
- In a deep plate put the dip as shown in the pictures and the salad in the middle.
- Serve with some crackers on the side.