Dill, Goat Cheese and Cannellini Bean Dip with Crudité
Ask any of my family members – fresh vegetables with dip is my go-to appetizer to bring to a gathering. I often serve it at home dinners too, and enjoy presenting it as “crudité” in my snootiest voice. My poor girls will probably grow up calling all vegetables crudité, and quite possibly with a French accent. I guess that’s on me.
In all seriousness, I think the veggie platter is a grossly underappreciated dish. Sure, it can be a little boring if you let it. Prepared trays from the deli, while convenient, can be unappetizing. But with a little care and creativity, you’d be surprised to see your friends and family eating their vegetables, perhaps even bypassing a bowl of chips to do so. When you find yourself mindlessly munching on carrot sticks, you know you’ve got a good thing going on. But what makes a plate of raw vegetables truly appealing?
Half the battle is in finding the most beautiful vegetables you can – whatever’s in season and looks fresh will be beautiful on a simple white plate or wooden tray. The other key component, of course, is the dip. It’s got to be good. And, in my house, it’s got to be good for you. Sometimes that’s a tall order. I love creamy dill dips, but those are typically full of mayonnaise or oil. This dip uses creamy cannellini beans, goat cheese, and yogurt to achieve a rich texture and tangy creaminess. Plenty of fresh dill and hits of garlic, onion and lemon create a flavor worth eating your vegetables for.
Why is it good for you?
Cannellini beans (also called white kidney beans) are nutritional superstars. Like all beans, they’re chock full of fiber and folate, making them heart-healthy. Their especially low GI score means we metabolize them slowly, gleaning steady long-lasting energy to keep us satisfied longer. They’re also high in molybdenum (a substance that helps detoxify the body) and various antioxidants.
Dill weed is thought to protect from cancer, neutralizing carcinogens in the body. It contains anti-inflammatory flavonoids. It also aids digestion and is considered a carminative, meaning it alleviates gas. Not a bad sidekick for a bean dish (just sayin).
Goat cheese is a better choice than cheese made from cow’s milk, as it’s lower in fat and easier to digest. It’s also higher in vitamins D, K, and some B vitamins.
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used full fat), drained
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- 3/4 cup cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. minced red onion
- 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Assorted seasonal vegetables, rinsed and trimmed
- Combine the first 8 ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and pulse to combine.
- Serve dip in a bowl alongside prepared vegetables.