Most artichoke dips could justifiably be called mayonnaise and cheese dips, given what goes into them.
To create a more nutritious rendition, we looked to bean dip to provide a creamy base that contributed protein and fiber instead of saturated fat.
We chose navy beans for their velvety texture, rinsing them to remove excess sodium. We thought that the vegetal artichokes (high in vitamins K and C and various minerals) would partner well with the earthy-sweet but mild beans, adding some needed character. Using canned beans and jarred artichoke hearts kept the recipe easy.
To increase the creaminess of our dip and add a filling burst of protein, we incorporated Greek yogurt. Finally, a healthy dose of lemon juice, garlic, parsley and scallion added fresh flavor and brightness.
Serve with vegetables, whole-grain crackers or whole-grain chips.
NAVY BEAN AND ARTICHOKE DIP
Start to finish: 50 minutes
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 (15-ounce) can navy beans, 2 tablespoons liquid reserved, beans rinsed
1 cup jarred whole artichoke hearts packed in water, rinsed and patted dry, with 2 tablespoons chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 scallion, white and light green parts cut into 1/2-inch pieces, dark green part sliced thin on bias
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup organic plain 2 percent Greek yogurt
Cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
Combine the lemon zest and juice and garlic in a bowl, and let sit for 15 minutes.
Pulse the garlic-lemon juice mixture, beans, their reserved liquid, whole artichoke hearts, parsley, white and light green scallion pieces, 3/4 teaspoon salt, fennel, and cayenne in a food processor until finely ground, 5-10 pulses, scraping down bowl as needed. Continue to process until a uniform paste forms, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as needed.
Add the yogurt, and continue to process until smooth, about 15 seconds. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (Dip can be refrigerated for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before serving.)
Season with salt to taste. Sprinkle with reserved chopped artichokes and dark green scallion parts, and drizzle with oil to taste before serving.
Nutrition information per serving: 109 calories; 34 calories from fat; 4 g fat (1 g saturated, 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 328 mg sodium; 14 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 5 g protein.