Warm Spinach-White Bean Dip with Crudites
Unlike traditional spinach dips, which are built around sour cream, this version gets its luscious texture from pureed part-skim ricotta cheese and fiber-rich cannellini beans.
For The Dip
- 5 ounces baby spinach (3 cups)
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
- Freshly ground pepper
For the Crudites
- 1 fennel bulb, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch radishes (about 6), halved, greens trimmed but left intact
- 12 small carrots, greens trimmed but left intact
- 1/2 large head cauliflower (about 1 pound), cut into florets and thinly sliced
- 3 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and then crosswise
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the dip: Wash spinach, leaving some water clinging to the leaves. Transfer to a large saucepan. Cover, and steam spinach over medium heat, stirring once, until wilted, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove spinach using a slotted spoon, and let cool. Squeeze out excess liquid using a kitchen towel; coarsely chop.
Pulse ricotta and cannellini beans in a food processor until smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Add chives, lemon zest, and salt. Season with pepper. Stir in spinach. Transfer to a 1-quart baking dish.
Bake until bubbling, about 30 minutes. Season with pepper. Serve warm with crudites.