Everyone loves layered Mexican bean dip. Sometimes it's called seven-layer dip, and my mother calls her version taco dip, but whatever you call it, it disappears quickly whenever it's served.
So how could I resist creating an Italian-inspired version that's perfect for summer entertaining?
In place of the Mexican dip layer of refried beans, I puree a can of white beans. Garlic lovers can add a clove of minced garlic to the beans, and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil also could be added for great flavor.
The second layer is a quick spread of sour cream mixed with prepared pesto sauce. Look for pesto near the refrigerated pastas. The sauce recently has appeared on the shelves in the pasta-sauce aisle, too. You can substitute a couple teaspoons of dried pesto-sauce mix for the prepared sauce. Just add the dried mix directly into the sour cream.
The next four layers are a snap. Sprinkle on some shredded Italian cheese blend or mozzarella, diced tomatoes, drained sliced black olives and chopped green onion.
One of the great things about this layered dip is that you can simply spread the ingredients, one after another, on a pretty serving platter. Just cover and refrigerate until you're ready to take it to a neighborhood gathering or pool party.
Don't limit your layers to the ingredients listed here. You could add a layer of finely chopped marinated artichoke hearts, diced pepperoncini or roasted red bell peppers, sundried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, minced Prosciutto -a long list of possibilities.
Whatever combination you choose, just add some pita chips or roasted-garlic toast rounds and you have a quick, delicious poolside hors d'oeuvre.
ITALIAN LAYERED DIP
1 15.8-ounce can cannellini, great northern or navy beans, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons prepared pesto
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 4-ounce can sliced black olives, drained
3 green onions, chopped
Bagel chips, pita chips or toasted bread rounds, for serving
Puree beans in a food processor or blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread on a serving platter, dinner plate or pie plate.
Combine the pesto and sour cream and spread over the beans. Sprinkle with the mozzarella, tomatoes, black olives and green onions. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with the bagel or pita chips or toasted bread rounds.
Makes 10 appetizer servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 170 calories, 8 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 10 grams fat (4 grams saturated fat), 18 milligrams cholesterol and 236 milligrams sodium.
Nutrition analysis provided by Michelle Baglio, a licensed and registered dietitian of the Augusta District Dietetic Association. Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMING June 4: Slow cooker barbecue beans
See Karin prepare the recipe at noon Tuesday on WJBF-TV (Channel 6).
Write to Karin Calloway in care of The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903. Or send e-mail to email@example.com. You can find previous Quick Cooking recipes through the online archive at augustachronicle.com/karin.