This spread from Marwan Sabbagh, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, fits into a Mediterranean diet. Cannellini beans are a staple legume in Tuscany. Polyphenol-rich peppers and onion and Brain-Boosting Broth add additional benefits.
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2 bacon slices, diced
2 tablespoons diced celery
2 tablespoons diced yellow onion
2 tablespoons peeled, diced parsnip
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 cups dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight and drained
5 cups Brain-Boosting Broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 red bell peppers
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp (4-6 minutes).
- Add the celery, onion, parsnip and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown (about 2 minutes).
- Add the beans, broth and thyme.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, covered, until the beans are tender (1 to 1.5 hours).
- With an immersion blender and using a pulsing action, puree the bean mixture in the pan, stopping when the dip has a nice, chunky texture.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and let cool.
- Roast the red bell pepper at 375 degrees F on a baking sheet, on the grill or held over a flame on a gas stove using tongs. Char the skin, rotating it for even charring for 5-8 minutes until the skin starts cracking.
- Place the peppers in a small bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap for 5 minutes. The skin will separate from the peppers so that you can peel it off easily.
- Once the peppers are cool, peel and seed them. Then cut them into strips.
- Arrange the peppers on the dip and serve.
Nutritional information (per serving)
Makes 16 servings. 1 serving = 2 Tablespoons
Total fat: 2 g
Saturated fat: 0.5 g
Trans fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 155 mg
Total carbohydrate: 15 g*
Fiber: 8 g
Sugars: 1 g*
Protein: 5 g
* = plus a small undetermined amount from the broth