Smoky Cauliflower and White Bean Dip: Creamy and Delicious!

by Gena on February 9, 2012

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This is one of those great recipes that just happened.

This morning, as I set out to roast some butternut squash (for another recipe), I noticed that I had a head of cauliflower I’d purchased and promptly forgotten about this week. My bad; I almost never neglect my vegetables that way! Repentant, I quickly retrieved my cauliflower from the fridge and pondered what in the heck to do with it. After remembering that I had cannellini beans in the pantry, and also remembering that smoked paprika makes everything taste better, I settled upon a white bean, cauliflower and smoked paprika dip.

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Boy, am I glad I did. This dip is a little more time intensive than, say, hummus made with canned beans, because you have to roast the cauliflower in smoked paprika first. But it’s oh-so-worth-it. The taste is rich and vibrant, and it brings the cauliflower and white beans (which can otherwise taste a little bland) to life. It’s also bursting with protein from the beans, as well as vitamins C and K from the cauliflower. With a little lemon and a drizzle of avocado oil (and some garlic, if you’re into that), it’s a creamy and delicious treat!

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Smoky Cauliflower and White Bean Dip (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Makes 4 large or 6 regular servings

3 heaping cups cauliflower, chopped
coconut oil or olive oil spray, or a small amount for roasting
1 1/2 – 2 tsp smoked paprika
1 can (15 oz) cooked white beans (navy or cannellini)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste; if you use canned beans, you may not need it)
2 tbsp water
1 small clove garlic (optional)
2-3 tsps avocado oil

1) Place cauliflower on a foil lined baking sheet and preheat oven to 375. Give cauliflower a spray of coconut oil, and sprinkle with 1 and a half tsps smoked paprika (it’s powerful, so you can use more if you want, but start with this amount). I sprinkled with my fingertips so that it would all be even.

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2) Roast cauliflower for about 30 minutes, or until golden.

3) Transfer cauliflower to a food processor or Vitamix. Add beans, lemon, garlic, salt, and water, and process till smooth, adding more water as needed.

4) With motor of machine running, drizzle in your avocado oil. Two teaspoons was perfect for me to achieve the smooth, creamy effect I wanted. If you prefer to omit the oil, you can.

5) Serve with a sprinkling of paprika and some of your favorite dippers: veggies, crackers, or bread! I used raw hemp and parsley crackers, straight from my dehydrator (no recipe, but next time I’ll write it down).

I like my hummus incredibly smooth; I prefer this dip to have just the slightest bit of texture. If you want it super smooth and creamy, you should use a Vitamix instead of a food processor.

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Just look at that perfectly smoky, creamy, and fluffy dip! I think the cauliflower helps to keep the texture relatively “light”—a nice alternative to thicker nut cheeses and bean spreads.

Hope you get to try this winning dip soon! Note that I mention coconut oil, above: this is my go to oil for high temperature roasting. I am a huge fan of spray oils and/or misters, because they allow me to add enough oil to coat vegetables and roast them nicely without drenching them indiscriminately! I use the Spectrum Organic brand, which looks like this:

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Before I go, I wanted to mention that I got a nice comment about my raw, vegan walnut “cheddar”:

This is the first nut cheese I have attempted and it was amazing! I put it on romaine leaves with cucumber, green peppers, and sunflower seeds. It was the best lunch ever! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel that is leaving behind real dairy. Thank you so much for such an easy cheese that tastes amazing!

This comment reminded me of the power of good food. A single recipe can be the difference between someone exploring a vegan diet, or not. When people say that they don’t think they could “live without cheese,” they are expressing a sincere fear, and it’s so important for all of us food bloggers to embrace “food as activism” and keep providing our readers with alternatives to their cherished favorites. I am so lucky to be a part of a community of men and women who are busy helping others to explore humane and delicious lifestyles!

xo

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Ali February 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I totally agree with you. Winning people over with delicious vegan food is our best bet! So many of us became vegans for health/dietary reasons, and only after living that way for a while became activists. Turn people through their stomachs, is what I always say!

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Tara @ such.different.skies February 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm

The best and easiest way to get people excited about veganism to get them excited about food. As you know, after that, often their morals catch up to their taste buds and it’s animal welfare that locks them down to this wonderful lifestyle. Kudos Gena, for being such an inspiration.

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Hannah February 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Oh this is an exciting recipe! Now could that avocado oil be olive or flax? Or just omit it and serve it on a salad with avocado!?

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Gena February 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Any oil you like!

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janet @ the taste space February 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Gena, you are killing me with all these great recipes… I don’t which one to make first! This looks freaking amazing!!

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Jes Suazo February 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm

I can’t wait to make this dip! It looks delicious!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Cauliflower is popping up everywhere lately! I’m going to have to give it another chance. This dip looks like the perfect place to start. And coconut oil SPRAY? I am now on a mission to find that!

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bitt February 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Such vibrant color on those crackers! I much prefer roasted cauliflower to raw, it’s much more digestible and even tastier I feel. Great dip idea!

Tried to leave a comment on the other breakfast salad post and would not go through. Anyhow, said I likely would still have it for dinner or lunch but it looks good.

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Nikki FYC February 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Wow, yum! And it looks especially great with that green cracker.

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Robyn February 9, 2012 at 10:08 pm

That’s funny,,,I just roasted a butternut today for your coconut/curry parsnip rice(so very good),,,now I look forward to this new one too.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga February 10, 2012 at 1:39 am

I used to buy that Spectrum coconut oil spray all the time and I kind of forgot about it until recently and you just reminded me to pick some up. I have soooo much coocnut oil in jars, but the spray is a nice treat to have around.

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Ela February 10, 2012 at 2:23 am

Great win with the walnut cheese! But smoked paprika and cauliflower always get my attention. Also reminded me–I was living on beans a few months ago, and haven’t cooked up any for about two months or so… Par for the course, but this was a good reminder of how lovely they can be. Green crackers look so cute with the dip also.

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Sylvia @ La Grande Assiette February 10, 2012 at 4:37 am

Ooh I’ve never seen that coconut oil spray. That’s a good find. I don’t want to use icky PAM type spray, but sometimes regular coconut oil is too solid and hard to administer. You end up with too much or too little

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Morgan February 10, 2012 at 6:21 am

I can’t wait to try this! I just bought some navy beans so this will be a great way to use them.

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Virtually Vegan Mama February 10, 2012 at 9:43 am

This looks amazing =) I made the most amazing vegan caesar yesterday and it was cheesy, creamy and delisiouc, can’t wait to share it with my non-vegan friends and wow them with it…=)

First time stopping by, love your site!! so much amazing info and recipes here.

xoxo

Jen

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Gena February 12, 2012 at 12:00 am

Thanks again for the visit, Jen!! Love your site, too.

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Megan February 10, 2012 at 11:23 am

I have a head of califlower sitting in my crisper and this recipe is calling my name. I can’t wait to get home a try this awesome looking recipe. :)

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Emerald February 10, 2012 at 10:03 pm

HI, Gena — You are the BEST when it comes to the novel and tasty recipes!! I’m grateful every day for all your contributions, delightful dialogue an awesome photos! Take good care of yourself with a time out!

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Gena February 12, 2012 at 12:00 am

Thank you so much! I’m flattered!

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Sondi February 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm

This dip looks yum. And those parsley crackers look divine – please share the recipe soon!

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Vita @ juicer Depot February 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I haven’t tried coconut spray. I usually put olive oil but sometimes too much does get poured on. I will have to try this coconut spray.

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Barb C February 16, 2012 at 11:30 am

Hi, Gena – just made this and enjoyed it with my green juice pulp/flax crackers. Tasty, creamy and satisfying! I roasted a sweet onion along with the cauliflower, and roasted one large garlic clove to tame its fire. Both added a subtle sweetness. Thanks for the recipe!

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Rachel Waters February 11, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Hi,
I had a bunch of friends over last night for the grammys and served them all vegan dishes, including this fab dip to kick it off, to many raves! I roasted 6 cloves of garlic along w/the cauliflower and it added a nice flavor.

Thank you, your site and story is inspiring.

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