Growing up in the Midwest, a “spread” traditionally meant some type of soft, processed cheese typically served atop a Ritz® cracker, and “dip” was a concoction of full fat sour cream fortified with onion powder. Folks, times have changed. Decades later, amongst a burgeoning food revolution, a world of antipastos & the tapestries of tapas, we are re-defining the aging nomenclature for the prevailing palate. The term “spread” now parents an array of canapés: liver pâté, horseradish hummus, bacon butters, honey ricottas, pistachio pestos. Thousands of recipes now proliferate the web. I highly recommend visiting Food52.com for a treasure trove of innovative recipes hatched by a gifted community of chefs + aficionados. As it goes, spreads & dips have seen a new dawn.
Today, I brew a batch of a newer household favorite: White Bean Purée. A beautiful union of roasted garlic, turnips, and cannellini beans, threaded together with olive oil, handsomely seasoned with salt and pepper, this spread is charming by itself; or blanketing a warmed baguette, drizzled with olive oil, and topped with heirloom tomatoes + slab bacon.
If you live in Southern California, I highly recommend swinging by Huckleberry Café and picking up a pint of the white bean purée. Otherwise, if you prefer to make your own, as I do, you will find a great version of this in Paltrow & Turshen’s latest book of cookery: It’s All Good. Six ingredients plus S+P.