All the world is nuts about
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With autumn approaching and cooler evenings the norm, patio parties gradually migrate indoors where the communal dip is a bubbling hot appetizer rather than one that's chilled. The communal bowl is an ideal icebreaker and starts the guests chatting. This tasty fondue can be served year round, either bubbling hot or gently warmed. I like it best when it's hot. I also love the versatility of this recipe.
Recently I served the fondue as a main dish spooned over baked potatoes. The dish was so well received, it will certainly become a regular in my repertoire. The recipe also makes a tasty topping over steamed brown rice, barley, buckwheat, pasta, or other grains. Serve with hearty chunks of whole-grain bread (sourdough breads are especially tasty for dipping), gently warmed pita wedges, or rustic breads.
CHEEZY BEAN FONDUE
Yield: 6 servings
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup (80 ml) water
1 (1-pound can/450g) garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
1/2 cup (120 ml) reserved garbanzo liquid
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 pinches cayenne pepper
Dash paprika, Aleppo pepper, or ground sumac
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4). Combine the tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a 4-quart (4 liter) saucepan or large deep skillet. Add the water and cook and stir over medium-high heat for about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the vegetables are soft. Transfer to an attractive ovenproof casserole or soufflé dish.
- Combine the garbanzo beans, garbanzo liquid, tahini, tomato paste, salt, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper in a food processor and process until creamy.
- Pour the garbanzo mixture into the casserole dish with the cooked vegetable mixture. Mix well, and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Warm in the preheated oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Garnish with paprika and chopped parsley and serve.
Cheezy Bean Fondue is an ideal make-ahead dish. Prepare it up to two days ahead and either bring it to room temperature before heating at 350 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes or place it in a cold oven. Warm it at 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4) until hot and bubbly, about 20 to 30 minutes.
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