A Cheap, Easy, Healthy (Kid-Friendly!) Summer Dip You’ve Got to Try

I drizzle a little extra olive oil on top before serving. YUM!

This versatile white bean dip costs around $2, takes about 3 minutes to make and is a total crowd (and kid) pleaser. I've been making it for years-I adapted it from a bunch of different recipes-and no one I serve (my parents, my party guests, my book club girls every single month) has tired of it. The dip is particularly great for summer because you can add in fresh herbs or veggies from your garden (or your market). And there's no cheese or mayo in it so the dip can sit out in the heat without becoming sad and unappetizing (is there anything worse than the sweaty cheese board at a BBQ?). The best part: You can whip it up with super simple ingredients in no time at all. You may have made it before (I'll admit, it's not rocket science) but if you haven't, I highly recommend adding it to your repertoire. If you're anything like me you have good homemade intentions, then 10 minutes before you're supposed to be somewhere you remember you said you'd bring something. Or friends stop by and you've got nothing to serve. This dip will save you.

How to make it:

Ingredients (I always have these in my house):

1 15-ounce can of canellini beans (rinse them well and pat dry before using)

1 small garlic clove (you can use a little more or a little less depending on your preference)

The juice from about half a lemon

A little more than 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt to taste

Add the first three ingredients into a food processor and puree. With motor running, pour in olive oil and puree until the dip is smooth (you can use more lemon juice and less olive oil if that's your thing). Add a pinch or two of salt and adjust for taste. You can top with chopped chives for looks, but I rarely do. Serve with pita chips (I always keep Stacey's in my house) or, if you're feeling extra healthy, fresh veggies.

The add-ins I love:

Fresh dill (really any fresh herb you enjoy-this dip is a great base for so many flavors).

A handful of arugula (I do this a lot because I have a ton in my garden-gives the dip a peppery freshness and bright green color).

Roasted eggplant (I grew Japanese eggplant last year and roasted them at 400 degrees until they got caramelized and soft, then pureed them right in-beyond!).

Pesto (for the dip in the photo, I used a few teaspoons of garlic scape pesto I'd made a few days ago-instead of the garlic clove. I also make parsley pesto with almonds, which would be awesome in this.

I make these dips at least once a week. My kids often help (who doesn't love pushing the buttons on a Cuisinart?) and they eat all versions. I made the one in the photo at around 5 p.m. yesterday. We were heading to my parents' house to swim and were all in need of a snack and, well, I get sick of hummus, you know? And this is similar but simpler. (Not to mention, a small container of hummus is about $5 in my grocery store.) While my kids put on their swimsuits I pulled together the dip and the two of them (ages five and three) devoured it before Nick and I could get more than a few scoops. I usually double the recipe so I have extra to keep in the fridge and then I grab that for a snack instead of cheese. And it tastes great as a spread on sandwiches instead of mayo. I will definitely be making a bunch of it this weekend. If you need a last-minute BBQ idea, a new snack for your kids or just something to mix up your cocktail-hour fare (you can put it on crostini and top with all sorts of things--grilled shrimp, fresh herbs, a shave of parmesan), definitely give it a try. And if you have any go-to dips to suggest for the weekend, please do. A new friend makes one where you spread hummus on the bottom of a pie dish, then add chopped kalamata olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion and feta. Sounds amazing and I'm going to give it a try using my white bean dip (with fresh dill) instead of hummus. Yum! Happy 4th to all of you. Happy weekend, happy summer, happy eating!