I think one of my favorite things about summer eating is firing up the grill and eating outside. I love the casual feel of a meal enjoyed outdoors. My kids can play on their jungle gym while I man the grill, and for some reason, the evening breeze always lures me to linger just a bit longer over my food than if I were sitting inside staring at my messy kitchen …go figure. Recently, a few friends and I gathered together for a grill out meal and we enjoyed it so much that I decided to recreate it for my family and then share it with all of you. This is quintessential summer meal for me–a fresh summer salad and a smoky grilled entree with a little appetizer to nibble on while everything cooks. I’ll be sharing these recipes in a three part series and hopefully you will be inspired to get out, fire up the grill, and spend a little extra time over a meal with some of your favorite people. In my opinion, a truly good meal is made even better with a little munchie you can enjoy while you cook. This Italian white bean dip hits all the right notes for me. It’s not overly heavy and the cool and creamy texture is the perfect accompaniment to warm pizza bread. If you want to be extra virtuous, you can definitely serve this with veggies, but if you’re throwing in a salad with the meal, I say go for the pizza bread!
Italian White Bean Dip and Pizza Bread
1 15 oz can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
salt and pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning (plus more for pizza crust if needed)
1 recipe of gluten free or regular pizza crust mix (I used the Namaste pizza crust mix)
Prepare the pizza crust according to the package directions. If your mix is not already seasoned, I suggest adding 1 tsp Italian seasoning to the dough.
While the crust is baking, place beans, garlic, lemon juice, parsley and Italian seasoning in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse together until ingredients are combined and chunky. Next, turn on the food processor and slowly drizzle in olive oil until mixture is smooth and well combined. If desired, drizzle additional olive oil on the top before serving.
Cut pizza crust into small squares and serve warm along side the bean dip.