Dunk into Tasty Snack Recipes

For game-viewing or any appetizer or snack time, a tasty dip and a roundup of recipe ideas will make the time even better
White Bean and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Photo Terry Brennan, food styling Lara Miklasevics

Whether you’re hanging out to watch college basketball tournaments, binge watching your favorite show, or playing your own board games, tasty snacks are always welcome. In this recipe from cookbook author Kristin Donnelly, which she created for Real Food, white beans make a creamy base for a dip that gets its bright but deep flavors from sun-dried tomatoes, toasted garlic, and cumin. Serve it with vegetables, or you could also dunk in chips, pita bread, or other crunchy dip delivery vehicles. To present artistic and tasty veggies, check out her tips below.

Picturesque Platters

To create a beautiful platter of vegetables for dipping, instead of the vegetables being an afterthought, make them an integral part of your dip presentation, says Donnelly. Choose two or three in-season vegetables and prep them with care.

  • Cut all vegetables so the pieces are still firm enough that they don’t bend in a dip and can be eaten within two bites.
  • If your typically crisp vegetables like fennel, radishes, carrots, and celery feel a little limp, slice them how you like, then soak them in a bowl of ice water for 15 minutes.
  • Sturdy vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower, taste best and are easiest to digest when they’re lightly cooked. To do so, set a bowl of ice water next to the stove. Bring a pot of water to a boil and season the water with salt. Add the vegetables and cook until crisp-tender. Drain, then plunge into the ice water to cool.

White Bean and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Makes 8 to 10 Servings (about 3 cups)

To make this dip nice and smooth, be sure to puree it for at least 2 minutes and possibly longer. –K.D.

1 (10-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans
½ lemon
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
Sliced fennel, Belgian endive leaves, or other raw vegetables, for serving

  1. Scoop out 1½ tablespoons oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes, and place in a skillet. Heat over medium heat. Add half the garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon cumin and cook until just fragrant, about 10 seconds. Scrape the garlic and cumin into a food processor.
  2. Add the white beans along with ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of the canning liquid or water to the food processor. Add all but 4 of the sun-dried tomatoes to the food processor, leaving any remaining oil behind in the jar. Add the juice from the lemon and ¼ teaspoon salt and puree until smooth, about 2 minutes. Taste and season with more salt if desired.
  3. Finely chop the 4 reserved sun-dried tomatoes. In the same skillet, heat another 1½ tablespoons oil from the jar. Add the remaining garlic and cook until just starting to turn golden. Add the remaining cumin and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
  4. Scrape the white bean dip into a bowl. Use a spoon to create a well on the top of the dip and pour the garlicky oil in it. Serve with the vegetables.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 190, Fat: 5g (Sat: .5g), Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 150mg, Carb: 29g, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 10g

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Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.