walnut pesto and white bean roasted red pepper dip

I love a good cocktail party. Hor d’Oeurves, wine, good company- it’s the perfect social gathering. I have people over all the time and I like to have easy appetizer recipes on hand if I need to put something together at the last minute. I’ve already featured the Artichoke-Olive Crostini, which is one of my all time favorite dips, but today I’m going to share with you two others which were a big hit when I made them for a dinner party at my house a few months ago.

Walnut Pesto

This is surprisingly delicious. Walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan all blend together to create a savory spread with a nice crunch from the toasted nuts.  This is definitely NOT your average pesto.

From Smitten Kitchen (where else?)

Makes a dozen or so toasts

1 cup shelled walnuts, even better if you toast and cool them first
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
3 sprigs of thyme, cleaned
Very small splash of sherry vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced sun-dried tomatoes (oil or dry-packed will both work)
1 loaf country bread, or a baguette, sliced

In food processor, coarsely grind walnuts, cheese, garlic, thyme, salt and vinegar. Stir in oil and tomatoes.

Grill or toast bread. While hot, top each slice with a heaping teaspoon of pesto.

White-Bean Roasted Red Pepper Dip

This is a easy and delicious dip that you can throw together with things you probably already have in the pantry!

Also from Smitten Kitchen

1 15-ounce can of white cannelini or navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 small jar roasted red peppers, or about 1 cup, drained
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice from half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Puree everything in a food processor (or blender) until smooth.

My friend Peter digging in

Bon appetit!

Let me know how the recipe turned out for you!