If you're looking for a vegetarian appetizer that packs a protein punch, chef Tamara Stanger of Helio Basin Brewing Co. shares a user-friendly recipe for white bean puree (akin to a creamy hummus). Stanger uses Ramona Farms white tepary beans, a product that has been cultivated for about 1,000 years by Native Americans in the Sonoran Desert. (Buy online at ramonafarms.com.)
"You can sub other white beans, but these are very buttery and have more protein than any other bean," Stanger says.
Stanger uses crème fraiche in her recipe, but you can substitute sour cream or cottage cheese and vegans can use silken tofu, she says. Also, feel free to throw in any pickled vegetables or olives you have on hand. "This dish is really good for entertaining and it celebrates Arizona."
O'Odham White Bean Puree
6 cups cooked Ramona Farms white tepary beans
1 tbsp. oil
1 cup crème fraiche
1 tbsp. tahini
3 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. cocktail bitters
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. coconut oil
¼ tsp. cracked pepper
Soak beans overnight. Cook until tender, anywhere from 45 minutes to 1½ hours. Saute shallot in oil until golden and fragrant. Put all ingredients in food processor and puree. Top with pickled veggies (olives, asparagus and red onions are great), pepitas and parsley, and serve with warm tortillas. If you refrigerate the dip, you can warm it in a pan and then serve at room temperature.
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