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The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

We’re not talking about some namby pampy peanut butter. No, we’re talking gourmet walnut butter here. This was a no fuss, no muss kind of challenge and perfect for summer since it required neither stove nor oven. Plus, it gave me an excuse to indulge in my favorite pita chips.

Walnut White Bean Dip with Rosemary & Sage
Recipe notes: Canned beans tend to be salty, so you may not need additional salt. Taste the dip after blending and add salt as needed.

½ cup (120 ml) walnuts*
1 (15.8 oz/448g) can Great Northern, Cannellini, or other white beans, drained and rinsed 1 garlic clove, chopped 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh rosemary, chopped
2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh sage, chopped
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) lemon zest (optional) ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) black pepper salt to taste


  • Make walnut butter by grinding ½ cup (120 ml) walnuts in food processor for about a minute until it forms a nut butter or paste. (*Alternately, start with ¼ cup (60 ml) prepared walnut butter.) Add beans, garlic, lemon juice, rosemary, sage, lemon zest (if using), and black pepper to the walnut butter in the food processor. Process the mixture to a smooth consistency. Taste and add salt as desired. Garnish dip with chopped walnuts and/or chopped fresh rosemary or sage, if desired. Serve dip with pita wedges, crostini, or assorted vegetables.

For a downloadable pdf of the recipes, click here and while you’re at it, visit the Daring Cooks’ blogroll for more fun with homemade nut butter.

I made Black Bean Salsa last weekend for the Pampered Chef show. This is my favorite go-to snack recipe whether I’m having guests over or going to a get-together. I love this dish because it’s different than the normal chips-and-dip routine, it’s just as easy, and healthier. What’s not to love about that? Alas, I cannot take credit for this one. Kevin developed this recipe – a man who loves him some black beans.

Black Bean Salsa:

2 (15.5 oz) cans black beans, drained (rinse one can of beans, but not the other)

2 (10 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes with lime and cilantro

Fresh cilantro, chopped (to taste)

Juice of one lime

This is best served with “hint of lime” tortilla chips and margaritas. I may alter Pampered Chef’s Baked Burrito recipe by replacing the bean dip with a black bean spread…hmm…now that’s an idea 🙂 Enjoy!

"Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity." ~Voltaire

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