Makes 1 ¼ cups
This versatile spread is one of my favorites to have on hand. A must for quick canapés of sliced cucumber, to stuff or pipe into hollowed-out cherry tomatoes, or to spread in chunks of celery. Another presentation idea: Stir in diced cucumber, diced red onion, and minced cilantro and serve in endive leaves.
1 tablespoon olive oil ¼ cup finely chopped onion (see Tip) 4 cloves garlic, minced One 15-ounce can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed ½ cup coarsely chopped jarred roasted red bell pepper, well drained 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste Pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste Salt to taste Sprigs of fresh basil or cilantro for garnish
Heat the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Combine the beans, bell pepper, and lemon juice in a food processor. Add the onion and garlic and the remaining ingredients; process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Let stand or refrigerate in a covered container for about 1 hour before serving. Garnish and serve at room temperature.
The flavors blend if the spread is made 1 or 2 days in advance; cover and refrigerate. The spread will keep for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.