There's something you should know.
I've always considered myself a reasonably intelligent woman, but there's one part of my brain that has never functioned properly. It's the part that handles spatial relations and directionality. I can calculate percentages with the best of them, speak articulately about current events and spot a dangling modifier half a mile away, but I can't pack a car trunk or figure out what size tupperware is appropriate for my leftover soup. If you tell me to meet you on the northwest corner, I'll laugh in your face. That's like telling a caveman to send a text message. It simply can't be done.
When I go someplace new, I take a printout from Google Maps and use my GPS. And I still get lost most of the time.
Happily, there are certain things I can always find without trouble: food in the grocery store, herbs at the farmers market, and beans in my pantry. Here's a dish for my online friend and colleague Charmian, who recently put in a request for cilantro salsa. No, this isn't salsa, but it's close enough. And given my condition, close enough is pretty darn good. She's lucky I didn't get lost from the computer to the kitchen.
Recipe for Cilantro White Bean Spread
This hummus-like spread is terrific on crisp pita chips. Or, for a simple, healthy burrito, smooth the spread across a warm tortilla and fill it with a generous handful of your favorite vegetables. My thanks to Heidi over at 101 Cookbooks.com... her hummus en fuego, with its toasted walnuts, inspired this recipe.
Yields 1-1/2 cups
1/2 cup toasted walnut halves, cooled
One 15-ounce can cannellini beans (also called white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2-1/2 to 3 cups fresh cilantro leaves (one large bunch), stems discarded
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
Put all ingredients except the oil into the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse for about 10 seconds, or until the ingredients are finely chopped.
Turn the motor on, and slowly add the oil through the feed tube, reserving approximately 1 tablespoon of oil for drizzling. Process until the spread is creamy. Adjust lemon, salt, and pepper to taste.
Scrape into a bowl and drizzle with the reserved oil. Serve with pita crisps, if desired.
For pita crisps: Cut whole wheat pitas horizontally in half and then into wedges. Coat with olive oil spray (or brush with oil) and sprinkle with salt. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes, or until crisp.