Perfect for a party – or even as a main for dinner
Dips are a natural for entertaining, of course. But sometimes we even have them for dinner.
And why not? They’re quick to make and quite tasty.
Take this White Bean and Tuna Dip, for example. It’s nutritious and comes together in just a few minutes. Add some bread, plus maybe some crudités, and you have a complete meal.
Ready in a jiffy. Gone in a flash.
Recipe: White Bean and Tuna Dip
This recipe is a cousin of our Mediterranean White Bean Dip. (The main difference is the inclusion of the tuna in this dish.) It’s also a distant relation of Tonnato Sauce. And its flavor recalls another classic Italian dish, White Bean and Tuna Salad.
This dish takes about 10 minutes to prepare.
The recipe makes approximately 2 cups of dip. Leftovers keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container.
- 1 15-ounce can of white beans
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ bunch of scallions (or more to taste; can substitute a shallot or two)
- 1 can olive oil-packed tuna (5 to 7 ounces)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or more to taste)
- 2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon kosher salt for us; see Notes)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste (maybe a dozen grinds)
- garnish of scallion rounds (the green part)
- flat bread, crostini, crackers, cucumber slices, or other crudités of choice for dipping
- Open the can of beans, then drain them over the sink in a strainer or colander. Rinse the beans and set them aside.
- Peel the garlic clove and add it to the bowl of a mini food processor.
- Clean the scallions. Cut off their root ends and about two inches of their dark greens, then chop them roughly (you may want to reserve some scallion rounds for garnish). Add the chopped scallions to the mini food processor. Whirl the food processor until the garlic and scallions are finely minced.
- Open the can of tuna and add it to the food processor (include the oil it’s packed in). Add the drained white beans to the food processor. Process until the dip has a consistency that pleases you.
- Zest the lemon, then add the zest to the food processor. Squeeze the lemon juice and add it to the food processor. Add the olive oil (start with 2 to 3 tablespoons). Add salt and pepper to taste. Process just enough to blend the mixture. Add more olive oil if the mixture is too dry.
- Using a rubber spatula (aka bowl scraper), remove the dip from the food processor. Pack it into individual ramekins (or into one big ramekin) or heap it on a plate. Garnish, if you wish, with a few rounds of scallion.
- Serve with your dipping “utensil” of choice. We like to use pita bread and sliced cucumbers, but we’re flexible.
- It’s easy to modify quantities and ingredients in this dish to suit your taste – or to suit what you have in the pantry.
- Want zippier flavor with more heat? Add a dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper in Step 5.
- Feel free to add herbs to this dish. Parsley is always good with white beans. Fresh thyme would be delightful as well.
- Extra virgin olive oil provides a lot of flavor to this dish, so use good quality.
- Same with the tuna: Buy a good brand of tuna packed in olive oil. Imported tuna from Italy is excellent, but there are some good domestic brands as well.
- We sometimes add a tablespoon or so of capers to this dish for extra flavor.
- Want more color? Add some chopped red pepper.
- We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If you’re using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
“Dipping into dinner,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Suits us, I suppose.”
“Crudi bean worse,” I said.
“That pun fell flat as chapati,” said Mrs K R.
“I thought it sounded cool as a cucumber,” I said.
“I’m scowllion now,” said Mrs K R. “Don’t make me start a food fight.”
Guess I better tuna round before she gets crostini.
You may also enjoy reading about:
Mediterranean White Bean Dip
White Bean and Tuna Salad
Tzatziki Dip, Sauce, and Dressing
Jalapeño Black Bean Dip
Chicken and Black Bean Nacho Dip
Baked Jalapeño Popper Dip
Salmon and Cream Cheese Dip
Or check out the index for more