Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Indifference, Celebrity and a Bean Dip you can’t be Indifferent to

(This is post #3 in a series on the spiritual discipline of indifference.  Read #1 and #2)

I’m generally relatively indifferent to celebrities although I like to gawk at them like anyone else.  A fun benefit of living in NYC was having random movie stars film throughout the city.  I got to watch Nicole Kidman run through a rain machine at the bottom of our street way back when all I knew about Nicole Kidman was that she had a very famous boyfriend, Tom Cruise, who watched her film and hugged her between takes. 

The exceptions to my celebrity indifference are my favorite authors and famous chefs.  When I found out Madelein L’engle attended my church in NYC, I would surreptitiously glance at her throughout services, too tongue-tied to seek her out, not wanting to look like the groupie I actually was. 

Every year she offered church members a $50 4 week writing class and donated the proceeds.  I finally took it, and Madeleine helped me get over the severe writer’s block I had developed as I tried to write my dissertation.  Her advice?  Write.  Don’t think.  Just write!

Madeleine was kind enough to let me use her air-conditioned office the next summer to write my dissertation, and then to speak to our Columbia student fellowship the next fall. 

Susan Regis, who’s a friend of a friend, is a world-famous chef.  I run into her periodically at friend events, and although I try to remain calm and not appear too worshipful, I fail miserably.  She cooked for my friend Julie’s 50th birthday, and I just hovered at her elbow, watching her every move.  My friends, watching my star-struck visage, all commented how I looked like I was in heaven.

On last week’s women’s weekend, the one thing we definitely weren’t indifferent to was Susan’s fava bean dip, which I brought along.  This dip is the best tasting, healthiest, most amazing bean dip ever.  For the past couple months, I’ve been making it almost every week and indulging with veggies, although it tastes even better with tortilla chips or great crusty bread. 

My version is faux because I can’t ever find fava beans, so use Susan’s suggested substitute—lima beans.  Now I hate lima beans.  I’ve never served them willingly to anyone.  But the dip’s so good I had to try it with the limas and it’s still delicious.

Susan says you need a Vitamix quality blender to make this dip smooth, and she’s right—with a Vitamix, the dip will come out seamlessly smooth and green.  So far, I’ve refused to spend $500 on a blender just to make this dip, but I have to say I’m tempted.  The bean dip killed our brand new Cuisinart blender last summer, but the new Kitchenaid has handled it thus far.

Enjoy—this is a dip you could serve any world famous celebrity who drops by.

Fava Bean Dip
Susan Regis

2 pkg  (small box type) frozen fava or lima beans
handful of parsley
handful of basil
½-¾ c olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic
zest and juice of ½-1 lemon
salt to taste

-blanch beans in boiling water for 4-5 minutes
-add parsley and basil in boiling water for 7 secs.
-drain and add beans, parsley and basil to a bowl of ice water to cool.
-in Vitamix or any heavy duty blender (susan says the blender is key to making
the dip come out smooth) blend beans, herbs, garlic, lemon juice, zest and olive oil in small batches until very smooth. You may need to add a few drops of water if it seems too thick. 
-transfer to a bowl and add extra olive oil if desired. 
-garnish with basil leaves and drizzled olive oil.

Note:  Because of how I get my lima beans, I end up with about 32 oz. of lima beans (about 1 1/2 recipes).  I use 2 lemons for that amount.  As you can see, measurements are approximate--just put in quantities you like.


Ling said...

who's susan regis?

Tara Edelschick said...

I love this bean dip. I hope this bean dip is waiting for me when I enter the pearly gates. Then I'll know I really made it.

Kim said...

You got to take a writing workshop with Madeleine L'Engle!?! Whoah!

Kathy Tuan-MacLean said...

Yup, it's my one claim to fame. Other than watching various movie stars act on the streets of NYC!

Ling, Susan Regis is a world-famous chef!! Currently at Upstairs in the square.