Butter Bean Aioli & Sweet Basil Pesto
Today’s two recipes are brought to you by my favorite vegan cookbook Veganomicon. If you are looking for a comprensive resource for all recipes vegan, you needn’t look any further. Veganomicon is by far one of the greatest cookbooks out there! My husband got it for me for my birthday in February, and I’ve been cooking through it ever since. Hope you enjoy these two great dips! Perfect for parties and backyard BBQ’s!
Butter Bean Aioli
I had never had aioli before, but my husband ate it a lot while he was in Spain. Traditionally, aioli is a garlicky mayonnaise, that you dip french fries in or spread on a sandwich. But there is no need for mayonnaise here! The original recipe calls for navy or great northern beans, but here in Penang, the closest thing I could find was a can of butter beans which worked well. This aioli would be great for spreading on sandwiches or wraps, dipping veggies in, or for bruschetta. The garlic flavor is strong, which is awesome, but a little does go a long way! With this recipe the texture is thick like hummus unlike traditional aioli.
1 15-ounce can butter, navy, or great northern beans (drained and rinsed)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (juice from about 1/2 lemon, depending on your lemon)
1/4 teaspoon salt
several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
6 gloves garlic, chopped
Combine the beans, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to get everything! Preheat a small pan over low heat and cook the garlic in the olive oil for about 3 minutes. You just want to gently heat it, not brown it. Add the garlic and oil into the bean mixture and puree. Taste for salt, pepper, and lemon, adjusting for your liking. Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate before use.
Sweet Basil Pesto
This pesto is not you’re everyday pesto! I am proud to say that it’s very unique. This pesto is spreadable and thickened with lots of walnuts and sweetened with maple syrup. Serve this up on some warm bread alongside the butter bean aioli or hummus. It makes for a great appetizer or compliment to a main dish. This also keeps well in the fridge. Simply store in a glass jar with a thin layer of olive oil on the surface
3 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup walnut pieces or halves
2-4 garlic cloves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 walnut oil (or just use more olive oil)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
several pinches of black pepper, or to taste
Chop the basil, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor until chunky. Use a rubber spatula to scrap down the sides of the bowl frequently. Add the oils, maple syrup, and lemon zest, and process until thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Store in a glass jar with a thin layer of olive oil on the surface, and keep in fridge until ready to serve.