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Deb's Mediterranean Dip

Created by our friend Deb, this flavor-packed, emerald green dip has lots of protein (it's made from beans!), and it goes great with veggies or spread on a sandwich.  Get your taste buds ready for major flavor!

Deb's Mediterranean Dip with veggies and crackers

Deb's Mediterranean Dip with veggies and crackers

Ingredients

2 cans Cannelini beans

1 bunch of fresh basil (with about 10 medium-sized leaves)

3-5 cloves garlic

Juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons

1 heaping Tablespoon capers

2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1.  Set up your work space with a blender or food processor.  You'll blend everything together in this.

2.  Carefully use a can-opener to remove the lids from the cans.  Don't throw the lids away!  Have a grownup help you to hold each lid in place over the beans and tip the can over the sink to drain the liquid out of the can but leave the beans inside.  Be very careful!  It's easy to cut yourself on the sharp edge of the lid!  Pour the drained beans from both cans into the food processor.

3.  Tear the basil leaves off of the stems and add the leaves to the food processor.

4.  Remove the papery skin from the garlic cloves and add them to the food processor.  Garlic has a really strong (but delicious) flavor!  We suggest you start with 3-4 cloves of garlic, and decide whether to add more later. 

5.  Add the lemon juice and capers to the food processor.

6.  Strip the tiny leaves from 10-20 branches of thyme by running your fingers down the branches.  (You can then pick off any leaves that remain).  When you have lots of leaves stripped off, pile them into a Tablespoon measuring spoon.  If they fill it to the top, that is 1 Tablespoon.  Do this twice, and add all the thyme leaves to the food processor (throw away the stems).

7.  Put the lid on and turn on the food processor or blender.  Watch as the mixture turns a beautiful shade of green!

8.  Have a grownup help you with this step:  With the machine running, take the small center piece out of the lid so that you can pour olive oil through the small hole at the top.  Slowly pour the 1/4 cup of olive oil through the hole in a steady stream and the machine continues to run.  If the mixture still seems a bit thick add more, up to about 1/3 cup total.  

9.  Turn the machine off and taste.  You will probably need to add some salt.  If your canned beans were salted (read the ingredients label if you're not sure), you might just need a sprinkle.  If they had no salt, you might need up to a teaspoon.  Taste carefully!  When it's just right, it will taste delicious, but not salty.

10.  Taste again and decide whether you'd like it a bit more lemony (if so, add more lemon juice), a bit more garlicky (if so, add more garlic), or a bit more peppery (if so, add a pinch of pepper or more garlic).  If you add anything, blend it up again so everything is mixed together.  If you think it tastes great, stop!

6.  Your Mediterranean Dip is ready!  Serve it as a dip with veggies, or spread it on a sandwich or crackers for a delicious snack.  (This recipe makes enough to eat some now, and store some in the fridge for another time.)

Have Fun!