This lovely spread is a great way to add a breezy dose of brightness to the table in the depths of winter.
The name of the game here is convenient nutrition wrapped in a moderate amount of comfort. Start with a can of white beans and give it a shot of richness through almond flour. Then turn to a jar of roasted red peppers and a bag of frozen artichoke hearts to infuse those mild, creamy ingredients with sweet and zippy veg. Finished off with a little lemon and garlic, you have a winner that's great on everything.
Baking combines the flavors and helps the base get nice and creamy, but the spread doesn't have to be eaten warm. This recipe makes a good amount, so feel free to toss your leftovers in the fridge and know you've got an irresistible chilled spread ready for crackers, crostini, sandwiches, or whatever. (If you try it tossed with pasta for a no-sweat cold pasta salad, let everyone know how it goes in the comments.)
Baked White Bean, Artichoke, and Red Pepper Spread
serves 6-8 as an appetizer
12 oz frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/2 roasted red bell pepper (jarred or freshly roasted)
1 clove garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp fine sea or kosher salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground cayenne
generous pinch freshly cracked black pepper
2 TBSP, plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 15-oz can cannellini beans
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
Heat oven to 375.
In a food processor, combine thawed artichoke hearts, red pepper, garlic, lemon juice, salt, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne. Pulse until well chopped. Drizzle in 2 TBSP olive oil with the motor running and pulse until a bit broken down, but still chunky. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Drain beans (do not rinse) and add them to the processor with the almond flour. Process until smooth. Stir into artichoke mixture until thoroughly combined. Adjust lemon and salt, if needed. Divide between two 5-inch ramekins. Drizzle 1 tsp oil over each and bake 30 minutes, until golden. Let cool a bit before serving warm, or let cool completely before refrigerating and serving chilled.