‘Shopping at the Dandelion Co-op made me feel European. Very Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina in Paris. River picked out goat cheese to spread on crispy-crusted French bread for the picnic, and olives, and a jar of roasted red peppers, and a bar of seventy percent dark chocolate, and a bottle of sparkling water. He bought some things for himself too: organic whole-fat milk, another crunchy baguette, glossy espresso beans (which were roasted by Gianni’s family and sold all over town), bananas, Parmigiano-Reggiano, fat brown eggs, extra-virgin olive oil, and some bulk spices’ – April Genevieve Tucholke, ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’. This zesty cannellini bean dip – daringly packed with sweet Sicilian lemon juice, feisty garlic and flat leaf parsley – is inspired by my friend Paulo Vincenzi who lives in a tiny apartment deep inside the Centro Storico in Naples. His kitchen consists of a couple of worktops upon which is a pristine oven and a standalone hob. Its roughly plastered walls are lined with shelves quietly bending under the weight of his collection of cookbooks, jars of pulses, herbs, spices, Kimbo coffee and his brand new red Kitchenaid 3.1 classic food processor which he lovingly polishes as if it were a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO.
x2 400g tins cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
Juice and zest of 1 Sicilian lemon
80ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
30g flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped (you can also use sage leaves, a couple of sprigs with the leaves picked)
A pinch of pul biber, for garnishing
Chives, finely chopped, for garnishing
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste
How I make it
Place the beans, garlic, the lemon juice, olive oil and parsley in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture becomes a creamy paste. Loosen it off with a little water.
Season with salt and pepper, to your taste. Turn out into a pretty bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with the chives, pul biber and lemon zest.