I am already looking forward to lunch today, and I haven’t even eaten breakfast yet! Yesterday I received a box of yummy Mezzetta products to sample, and since they were on the counter when I was brainstorming lunch, they provided huge inspiration for my big salad topper, Mediterranean Bean Dip.
I incorporated Mezzetta Napa Valley capers (after I ate a whole bunch by themselves!). I love the salty, slightly mustardy flavor of capers.
The bean dip recipe also featured Mezzetta’s Napa Valley Bistro pesto. I may have eaten a couple of spoonfuls of this out of the jar here too. Hey! I am eating to fuel for a marathon! This pesto is soooo good.
I drained and rinsed a can of pinto beans that I had lying around. I have been buying lots of pinto beans lately. I like how creamy they are, and they are a nice change from the usual black beans or kidney beans I use.
I added the entire can of beans to my mini food processer along with some salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and a splash of aged balsamic vinegar. After the beans were completely pureed, I added a couple heaping spoonfuls of Mezzetta pesto and pureed everything together again.
Right before I added the dip to our lunch salads, I stirred in a teaspoon of capers into each serving of bean dip.
This dip is AMAZING. I know it sounds really simple, and it is, but it tastes completely like an afternoon in Italy, and the creaminess of the beans and the oil make it so satisfying and filling. In addition to topping salads with the dip, it could easily be served with pita triangles, crostini, and veggies, as a spread for sandwiches and wraps, and I think it would be good rolled in panko and baked or pan fried into a bean burger type of dish.
Thanks to Mezzetta for the samples! I love coming up with new recipes based on a product or two!
Don’t forget to check out my Equal Exchange giveaway . . . a $30 gift certificate to buy coffee, chocolate, tea, or snacks!