Serves 6

For those moments when you need a snack for drinks and it has to be something easy, this spread of canned white beans with a spoonful of the North African chile paste harissa takes minutes to whir in a food processor and tastes delicious. Garnish it with a drizzle of olive oil and a spoonful of olives and use pita crackers or crudites for dipping.

1can (15 ounces) large white beans such as broad beans or Great Northern beans, drained but not rinsed
Juice of ½ lemon, or more to taste
2tablespoons chopped onion
1clove garlic, chopped
¼teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1teaspoon harissa, or more to taste
3tablespoons olive oil
Extra olive oil (for sprinkling)
2teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
¼cup black and green olives (for garnish)

1. In a food processor, tip in the beans with the liquid that clings to them after draining. Add the lemon juice, onion, garlic, salt, and the 1 teaspoon harissa. Pulse the mixture, occasionally stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the work bowl, until it is smooth.


2. With the machine running, add the olive oil through the feed tube in a very thin stream. When all the oil is added, remove the cap and taste the spread for seasoning. Add more harissa, lemon juice, or salt, if you like.

3. In a shallow bowl, spread the bean dip. Sprinkle with olive oil and parsley and garnish with a few olives. Serve with pita bread cut into triangles and toasted or crudites. Sheryl Julian

Sheryl Julian can be reached at sheryl.julian@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sheryljulian.