red pepper

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Roasted Garlic White Bean and Red Pepper Dip

Published April 21, 2013 by jenmatteson

Another recipe from Jaida at Sweet Beginnings.  That girl just makes so many yummy things!  I’ve had this in my “to try” list for awhile now, and had the perfect opporutniy to try it out.  We had Nate’s parents over for ribs (in Nate’s new smoker!) last weekend, and I didn’t want anything really heavy to set out as an appetizer before we ate dinner.  I figured we’d all be excited and trying to save room for the ribs!

Roasted Garlic White Bean and Red Pepper DIp

This white bean dip was the perfect snack before dinner.  I loved the fact that it had an entire head of roasted garlic – you can never go wrong with roasted garlic!  The original recipe calls for 1 cup of cannelini beans and 3 scallions.  After adding everything to the food processor, I thought the rosemary and scallions were far too over powering.  Good thing I got two cans of beans instead of one.  I ended up adding two cans of cannellini beans, but for me the scallion taste still was overpowering.  I did use fairly large scallions, so maybe that’s why.  Next time, I’ll only add a little at a time and taste as I go.  Lesson learned.  Overall, I still loved the dip, but I certainly wouldn’t plan to be making out with Adam Levine after noshing on it 😉  It’d be a great spread on a turkey or veggie sandwich, too!

Roasted Garlic White Bean and Red Pepper Dip

Roasted Garlic White Bean and Red Pepper Dip

Source: Adapted from Sweet Beginnings
Servings: Makes about 2 cups


1 garlic bulb
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 scallions, rough chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, rough chopped
1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut pointed end of the garlic bulb, exposing as many cloves as possible.  Drizzle generously with olive oil, wrap in foil, and roast until cloves are soft, about 40 minutes.

2. Remove from oven, open foil, and let cool slightly.  Squeeze cloves from skins into food processor.  Add beans, lemon juice, olive oil, red pepper, scallions rosemary and cayenne.  Puree until smooth.  (I suggest adding the scallions one at a time and testing the flavor as you add more).

3. Transfer to bowl and refrigerate until flavors have blended, at least one hour.

Think you don’t like Brussels sprouts? Think again.

Published November 21, 2012 by jenmatteson

Ever wonder how Brussels sprouts get their name?  I did.  So I looked it up.  And yes, it’s probably what you are thinking.  The modern Brussels sprouts that we are familiar with today was first cultivated in large quantities in Belgium.  Did I just blow your mind?

No?  Okay, well try these and I just might.  Unfortunately, Brussels sprouts have an underserving reputation as “gross”.  Many children and men (okay, probably some picky women too) avoid Brussels sprouts at all costs.  Nate included.  The problem stems from them not being prepared properly, and if something is gross the first time you try it, why would you try it again?

Well, I’m telling you now, try them again.  Use this recipe.  I made these for our friends Thanksgiving and even Nate tried some, though he didn’t really say anything about them.  But the fact that he ate more than one says enough.  I did feel they were a little undercooked, but I think that’s much better than overcooked and soggy.  Whether or not Nate eats these again, I’ll certainly be making them again.

Spicy and Galicky Brussels Sprouts

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 4


1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tsp crushed red pepper


1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add Brussels sprouts and cook until bright green, about 2 minutes.  Drain well and pat dry.

2. In a large deep skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil until shimmering.  Add garlic and Brussels sprouts and cook over high heat, undisturbed, for 1 minute.  Add crushed red pepper and salt and continue to cook over moderate heat until sprouts are browned and tender, about 3 minutes.  Serve warm.

Gingered Green Beans

Published November 21, 2012 by jenmatteson

Green beans alone with a little olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper are great, but this is a wonderful way to dress them up a little.  You can certainly adjust the spice if you don’t like the heat.

These were on the menu for our friend’s Thanksgiving this past Saturday, and I put Kim in charge of them.  She did a wonderful job!  We ran out of crushed red pepper, so we added some red pepper flakes in addition.  The beans were cooked perfectly, with a little bite, but the ginger really set these green beans apart.   I don’t know if I’ll make them again without the ginger!

Gingered Green Beans

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 5


1 lb green beans, washed and trimmed
3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Kosher salt


1. Fill a large bowl with ice water.  In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook beans until crisp tender, about 4 minutes.  Drain beans and add to ice water to cool.  Drain and pat dry.

2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil.  Add garlic and cook over moderate high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the ground ginger and crushed red pepper, then add the beans.  Season with salt and cook until garlic becomes brown the beans are tender, about 2-3 minutes.  Serve warm.

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