I am officially in the Christmas mood! The odd warm weather in Chicago during December has made it difficult to feel that cozy Christmas feel you get in the weeks leading up to the big day. Over the weekend we headed to my parents’ house, AKA Christmas wonderland. My mom does a fantastic job of decorating the house, inside and out. My husband was there for 5 minutes and said, “I am officially in the Christmas spirit!”.
We did a LOT of cooking over the weekend. I think we made about 6 dozen cookies, 15 loaves of bread, 2 lasagnas, caramelized bacon (more on this in the future) and 7 batches of homemade noodles. Every year my dad and I make these homemade egg noodles for chicken and noodles, which we enjoy with our extended family. We serve chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes, starch on starch. It is odd, and amazing, and the ultimate comfort food.
We listened to non-stop Christmas music. We also wrapped presents. Correction, Chris wrapped presents and I put bows (we call this foof in our house) on them. My mom is the BEST gift wrapper around. She truly has a gift. See what I did there?
We also worked on our menu for the next couple of weeks. Per usual, there is an appetizer night scheduled. Who doesn’t love appetizers and a glass of wine? It is my favorite kind of meal. Roasted Garlic Herbed White Bean Dip with Basil Tomatoes is the perfect addition. Not only is it delicious and light, it is quite festive if I do say so myself. All sorts of red and green happening here.
If you would like a shortcut you could skip making your own hummus (but really don’t skip that) and top store-bought with the tomato and herb mixture. While you are at it, roast multiple heads of garlic. They are great to have on hand for salad dressings, mixing in mashed potatoes, or as a straight up spread on crostini.
This dip was quite tasty served with Ritz Chips. Those things are too tasty for their own good. I am not sponsored by them in any way, I'm just a fan. It would also be great with pita chips or your favorite cracker.
I hope you all have a blessed Christmas and New Year with your loved ones! I cherish this time with my family celebrating the birth of our Savior and reflecting on the year. This one was pretty special me!
Roasted Garlic Herbed White Bean Dip with Basil Tomatoes
Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing
- 1 head of garlic
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup sliced basil
- 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tb chopped rosemary
- 1 Tb thyme leaves
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 Tb fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the excess paper off of the head of garlic and cut off the very top of the head to expose the garlic. Place the head of garlic on a sheet of foil, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal the foil packet and place in the oven. Roast the garlic for 40-50 minutes until the cloves are soft and caramelized.
In a nonstick skillet heat a teaspoon of olive oil, add the sliced shallots and sauté until they start to caramelize. Add the halved tomatoes to the pan and cook until the tomatoes start to break down and become jammy. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the sliced basil.
Place the beans in the bowl of a food processor, add the rosemary, thyme, lemon zest and juice, and 2 Tb of olive oil. Add about one half of the head of garlic to the bowl. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Top the bean dip with the basil tomatoes and serve with crackers or pita chips.