White Bean Hummus in a “Football”

Makes about 4 cups dip.

Note: This recipe makes a big batch of dip and, depending on the size of your loaf of bread, you may have extra. Of course, you don’t have to put it in a hollowed-out loaf; you can simply put it in a bowl and serve it with pita triangles or chips. Vegans can skip the feta cheese and sprinkle with some toasted pine nuts, instead. From Robin Asbell.

• 2 (15-oz.) cans navy beans

• 2 garlic cloves, peeled

• 1/2 c. tahini

• 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice

• 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1/2 c. pitted green olives, chopped

• 1 large roasted red pepper, chopped

• 1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese (or toasted pine nuts)

• 1 football-shaped (or round) loaf of bread

• 2 oz. cream cheese

• 1 tbsp. milk

• Crackers, optional

Directions

Drain the white beans and reserve the juices in case you need to thin the dip. Put the lid on the food processor and turn it on, drop the peeled garlic through the feed tube with the machine running. Scrape it down and add the beans and tahini, and process until very smooth. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, rosemary and salt, and process to mix well.

If the dip seems too thick, add reserved bean juice one tablespoon at a time. Stir in most of the olives, red pepper and feta cheese (if using), reserving some for garnish.

To make the “football”: Turn the bread on its side and slice off the top. Save the top to use as the lid. Place the bread on the cutting board and use your knife to cut along the edges of the first cut, creating the bowl by cutting out the bread in the center, being careful not to cut through the bottom of the loaf. Slice those pieces into portions for dipping.

For the laces, place the cream cheese in the food processor and process until smooth, then scrape down and add the milk. Process, scraping down as needed, until well-mixed and smooth. Transfer to a small plastic bag or a piping bag with a small tip. If using a plastic bag, press the cheese into one corner and cut off the very tip of the corner, and squeeze the bag to force the cheese out in a line. Pipe the laces as shown on top of the bread.

Fill the hollowed-out bread with dip, sprinkle with reserved olives, peppers and feta, and place the top of the loaf back on the bread, allowing the dip to show. Put the bread pieces that you cut out of the loaf, along with any crackers, alongside.

Nutrition information per 2 tablespoon hummus with bread:

Calories 120 Fat 6 g Sodium 300 mg

Carbohydrates 13 g Saturated fat 1 g Total sugars 1 g

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 4 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 1 fat.