Warm Spinach and White Bean Dip

This warm dip is reminiscent of the artichoke dip I got from Suzanne, but a little more healthful. Instead of the half cup of mayonnaise it gets its creaminess from pureed cannellini beans and lowfat ricotta cheese. The lemon really turns it into something nice. Serve it with vegetables, chunks of bread, or pita chips for dipping. And plenty of gin and tonics.

Warm Spinach and White Bean 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

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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