This spread fits right into a Mediterranean diet. Cannellini beans are a staple legume in Tuscany, Italy, and polyphenol-rich peppers and onions and our 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 to 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 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 to 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 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.
Nutrition 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
Sugar: 1 g*
Protein: 5 g
* = plus a small undetermined amount from the broth
— The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook: 100 Recipes to Boost Brain Health (© 2012 Ten Speed Press).