I missed the First Thursday challenge last month on Thursday Night Smackdown. Each month Michelle challenges her readers to test the mettle of their cookbooks and issues a challenge in a certain category. For her orange food challenge, I made sweet potato fries. For her grilling challenge, I tried grilled pizzas for the first time.
This month's challenge was to make an appetizer. Last month, when we were in D.C., I picked up Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen by James Beard Award winner Lorna J. Sass at a used book store. It's an interesting cookbook because it was written in 1992 so there isn't any talk about everyone trying to be green. This was a cookbook written by a woman who has been part of the environmental movement before it was
hip. I thought it was a great find.
For the challenge, I made White Bean-Horseradish spread. It's really a dip. But there's no mayonnaise, sour cream or cream cheese in this dip. It's all healthy stuff - cooked great northern beans, prepared horse radish, a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, dried rosemary and salt. I suppose you could put this in the hummus category, but not really.
The dip was easy to make, but it's not something you can whip up at the last
minute. The beans need to soak overnight, and then they need to be cooked for at least an hour and a half. But once those ten hours or so are over, it's a quick and easy recipe.
It's tasty, too. I did add a little more horseradish and salt than called for after tasting it, and if I make it again, I'll probably add more horseradish. It's an unexpected alternative to the normal party type dips you're used to. But that's okay because it's much better for you.
My kids took one whiff of it and wouldn't go near it. Horseradish is potent stuff. I wouldn't have gone near it either as a kid. My husband thought it was bland. Like I said, I'd probably add more horseradish next time and probably a little more rosemary, too. But I liked it enough to put it in the "try again sometime with modifications" category. Most first time recipes end up in that category.