This is undoubtedly the only recipe we have ever developed with a church potluck—the annual fundraiser for friend's mom's congregation—in mind. Next time we plan on whipping it up with wild white sage. Besides cleaning a room of evil spirits and reducing swelling, it tastes badass. In the meantime, green sage will work just fine.
6-8 sage leaves for garnish, washed and thoroughly patted dry
1) Start by making garlic confit: Submerge the garlic cloves in a small saucepan with 1 cup of the olive oil. Place on medium heat. Let the oil heat to a rolling sizzle, then remove pan from heat. Set aside and it will finish cooking as it cools.2) Prepare the "stuffing." Roughly crush the almonds with a chef's knife or a mallet. Place a large sauté pan on high heat and add a touch of olive oil. Then add the almonds and chopped onion. Turn down to medium.3) Toss or stir the mixture every minute, toasting for about 5 minutes. Toss in the sage. Continue cooking for another 3 minutes or until the almonds are mostly toasted. Set aside.4) Divvy up half the beans into a food processor. Toss in half the stuffing mixture, season with half the sumac and half the balsamic, as well as salt and pepper to taste.5) Puree vigorously, adding a slow drizzle of half the garlic confit and olive oil, plus 1/4 cup of water. The mixture should be thick and creamy but loose enough to easily move through the blender. If it appears too gunky, add more water until it's spreadable.6) Use a spatula to empty the puree into a large mixing bowl. Repeat the blending steps with the second half of the ingredients. Combine both batches in the bowl.7) Finally, prepare a quick garnish of flash-fried sage leaves by bringing a small saucepan of grapeseed oil up to high heat for at least 5 minutes. Prepare a plate with a paper towel and a slotted spoon. Drop leaves into the hot oil and wait 10 seconds before fishing them out and placing on the paper.8) Arrange the fried leaves and another splash of olive oil onto the spread. Serve the bean puree as a dip with torn chunks of fresh-baked ciabatta, as a composed bruschetta plate or as a dip with crackers.