White Bean and Yogurt Dip with Oregano and Parsley

It's that time of year when everyone you know starts throwing backyard parties and barbecues. Here in the U.S., our Independence Day holiday is coming up and that celebration is filled with great gatherings, leaving you with only one question, "What should I bring?"

Here's a great dip recipe that's easy to make and doesn't require that you make your home any hotter in those summer months by turning on the oven. It makes a great healthy dip or sandwich spread. Pair it with fresh healthy veggies for a dip and bring it to your next party. I plan on trying this on a piece of crusty bread topped with roasted red peppers. This recipe was inspired by one that originally appeared on epicurious.com, but I found their version was too thick and I didn't like the texture or flavor as much. The addition of a little yogurt and salt made this a much tastier spread/dip, in my opinion.

Fresh oregano

Fresh oregano

Ingredients

1 (15 oz) can of cannellini beans (or chickpeas - a 15 oz can of chickpeas works just as well)
1 1/2 TBSP plain non-fat yogurt
3 TBSP olive oil
3 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
2 TBSP fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1 garlic clove, chopped

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth. Stop and scrape the sides as needed to blend well.
  3. Transfer to a bowl, surround with veggies, pita bread, chips or whatever you want to pair with it.

This can be made up to 1 day ahead. Just cover and chill until ready to use. This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups.

I'm Catherine, a small-space urban gardener in New Jersey (Zone 7a) who started gardening out of upcycled wooden wine boxes. For years, I wanted to try gardening, but didn't know where to start. I got up the nerve to give it a try - starting small with a single wooden wine box that turned an idea into reality. That reality quickly turned into my filling every sunny inch of space of my postage-stamp size lawn and turning it into a garden oasis. I grow mostly vegetables and herbs with some exception for fruits (when the squirrels and rabbits don't get to them first). I love learning from gardening communities (and lots of trial and error).

I hope one day to take all that I'm learning and apply it to a larger plot of land. To help me get there, I'm extending my learning through the University of Massachusetts, Stockbridge School of Agriculture's, Sustainable Food & Farming program. (I'm addicted to learning as much as I am to gardening.)

This blog isn't just for gardeners (although I hope it inspires some of you to try growing a plant or two). The recipes (food & cocktails) in theRecipes section of this blog contain ingredients that don't have to come from your own backyard. If you like visiting your local farmer's market(or even your grocery store) and would like to get some new recipes you can use with the fresh produce and herbs you get from your local growers, this blog will have plenty for you too.

In addition to gardening and cooking, I also love to visit and photograph my surroundings. I feel fortunate to have so many amazing places here in New York/New Jersey, where I live and work. Visits to local farms, farmer's markets, and cycling through rural farming areas help me feel connected and refreshed. share these experiences in theExploring section of the blog so that you might visit through proxy or be inspired enough to visit yourself. 

With very few exceptions, all of the photographs on this site are ones I have taken myself. (For the photographers out there, I shoot with a Canon 7D and sometimes with my Lumix  DMC-ZS15 compact camera.) 

I hope this blog inspires you to grow, create, explore, and try something new. The best way to stay up-to-date is to follow me using the social buttons above, or click Subscribe and sign up for my email newsletters.    

Happy Gardening and Healthful Living!

- Catherine