C.S. Lewis, gluttony and white bean dip

redbuds 198For our Lenten reading/discussion, a few of us read C.S. Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters” (1941). I only made it to one discussion but I did enjoy reading this, especially the devil’s letter on gluttony.

Old Screwtape reminds his nephew Wormwood that there are two types of gluttony: Gluttony of delicacy and that of excess. Holy cheesecake made with a Girl Scout cookie crust! I knew gluttony only as eating too much (me), but had never considered that being picky (my mother) was its own special kind of gluttony, still one where the eater is the center of attention for her/his special needs.

“Oh, I can’t eat all that. Please just give me two crumbs.” (The implication here is that the eater is so disciplined that she looks better is healthier will live longer than anyone else.)

Or, “Please could I have some balsamic ketchup, instead of just regular old ketchup like the kind that is good enough for everyone else?” (The message here, of course, is that the delicate glutton is so freakin’ refined, she must always have something special, just for her.

Either way, the focus is obsessively on food. And I come by mine honestly which somehow makes me feel better, no idea why.

So does this dip. Make me feel better. I took a first version with rosemary to friends’ for a weekend get-together and we all liked it on baguette slices brushed with olive oil and toasted. I’m making this Giada de Laurentiis version  next week when Dora the Explorer comes home, thinking it would be a bit tastier/zippier with the lemon juice added. I’ll still chop up a little rosemary from the tree out front just because I love rosemary in just about anything. I like the idea of the pita triangles because it’s easy to find whole-grain pita breads now and I’m trying to eat only whole grains (as well as more fish, as little red meat, sugar and dairy as I can manage).

This dip is suggested as an appetizer but it would be a wonderful light summer supper with a good chardonnay, a green salad and a handful of fresh strawberries capped by the pool boy.

White bean dip with pita chips

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

2 peeled cloves garlic

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup olive oil plus 4 tablespoons

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary needles, optional

6 individual pitas

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


Freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 400°. Place beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil and parsley in work bowl of food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut each pita in half and then into 8 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges on a large baking sheet. Brush remaining 4 tablespoons oil over the pitas. Spread out evenly. Sprinkle with oregano and more salt and pepper. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until toasted and golden.  Serves 4, 12 wedges with dip for each. (And there is no picture because white bean dip is about as photogenic as raw fish, maybe less. But it’s s0 yummy.)DSCN0800










Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: