During one of John’s and my trips to Vancouver, we stumbled upon a fabulous gastropub. It’s tucked away in the Gastown neighborhood, just out of sight from the area near Canada Place (which I mention since we were lucky that our favorite spot wasn’t crushed with tourists when we desperately needed a television to watch an evening of 2010 Olympic games.) With a menu of bourbon and whisky based cocktails and a varied menu of small plates and pubfare, all it took was our first visit there for us to declare that we had found a favorite pub to return to whenever we’re visiting Vancouver.
One of the small plates we shared on that first visit was an edamame hummus that boasted having bacon wafers. A super light and smooth, beautifully spring green dip was placed before us, surrounded by lightly seasoned, crispy pita chips. But the bacon wafers? A little disappointing– two perfectly executed 1 inch squares of crispy bacon decorated the top of the dip. The dip itself was amazing which is why we still fell in love with the pub, but the bacon, as with everything, made it even better. We found ourselves happy with the dip but wistful for what could have been had there been more bacon. I made up my mind to make a dip of my own but one that would be more generous with the pig.
In my food processor, I pureed bright green, cooked edamame beans, olive oil, roasted garlic, tahini, cumin, cilantro, and a squeeze of lemon juice. I then folded in some lardons of thick cut bacon, reserving some to scatter on top. I also made some pita chips for scooping up the dip. The dip itself was light and smooth but the bacon gave it the extra punch of salt and smoke that was missing but desired from the pub’s version. Although come to think of it, since the pub is called The Greedy Pig, I guess maybe that’s why it was stingy with the bacon?
Note: I recently made a vegan version of this by leaving out the bacon and swapped out two cloves of fresh garlic for the head of roasted garlic as well as lime juice for the lemon. The other additions made were a splash of tamari soy sauce, a couple of teaspoons of toasted sesame oil, and a teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice seasoning in place some of the cumin.
- 1 package of whole wheat or white pitas
- olive oil
- 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 head garlic
- 4 strips thick cut bacon, cut into 1/4 inch squares
- 8 oz shelled edamame beans (You can find 1 lb bags of already shelled frozen edamame beans in the frozen vegetables section in your grocery store)
- 1/3 cup tahini (roasted sesame paste, found near the peanut butter in my grocery store)
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 bunch of cilantro, leaves and stems
- salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the top 1/4 inch off the head. Place both pieces, cut side up, on a 10 inch long piece of aluminum foil that you’ve folded into half so that it is now 5 inches wide. Drizzle the exposed cloves with a teaspoon or two of olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Fold the aluminum up around the cloves so that they are completely covered and roast in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the garlic from the oven and open up the foil package. Allow garlic to cool to touch before using.
Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Mix together the salt, pepper and paprika in a small bowl. Brush both sides of each pita with olive oil and sprinkle both sides of each pita with the seasonings. Using a pizza cutter, cut each pita into six equal sized triangles and lay out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden and crisp.
Add about 2 tsp olive oil to a medium skillet and cook the bacon over medium heat. Once bacon is crisp, remove to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. While bacon cooks, cook the edamame beans by bringing 1 quart of water to a boil then cook the beans for 5-8 minutes and drain.
In the bowl of a food processor, add the edamame beans, tahini, cilantro, cumin, and lemon juice. Squeeze the garlic cloves into the food processor too. Turn the processor on and slowly pour in the olive oil through the feed tube. Let this puree for 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. This will help ensure a light and fluffy texture. If the dip is too thick for your taste, add a little bit of water at a time, pureeing after adding a small splash until dip meets your texture preferences. Fold in 3/4 of the bacon and adjust salt and pepper to your taste. Serve the dip in a bowl with reserved bacon scattered on top then surround the bowl with pita chips.