Melissa @ Market is feeling a little blue. It happens every year around this time when the farmer’s market starts to wind down for the season, the sun begins to set before I even feel I’ve finished lunch, and you can’t step outside without a scarf and mittens anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line. When this seasonal dip strikes (other than talk about myself in the third person), I resort to seeking out a little brightness wherever I can. In this case, it’s with party food that sits pretty on the table, utilizes what can still grow in the earth (in these recipes, herbs), and relies on produce frozen back when it peaked. Surrounding myself with family and friends, whom I can still manage to feed wholesome, nourishing food, helps to scoot away the winter blues.
At least until January.
This week’s recipes focus on easy-to-whip-together dips. Edamame Hummus shines on the table and is bursting with the zip of mint and cilantro. You may temporarily be fooled into thinking it’s spring. White Bean and Artichoke dip feels smooth and decadent thanks to a puree of beans and just a smidge of fresh cheese while the tang of artichoke hearts gives a nice lift to a humdrum winter night. They’re the only two dips that have ever been scraped clean at one of my parties. Starlights indeed.
adapted from a Dec. 2011 Bon Appetit recipe
2 10-oz. packages shelled edamame, frozen (preferably organic)**
2 10-oz. packages peas, frozen **
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp (or 2-3 cloves) garlic (adjust to preference)
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 cup (give or take) extra-virgin olive oil (you will add this slowly and taste as you go)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh mint
**You can also buy 1 16-oz bag of each (easier to find) and then adjust the other ingredients for taste/consistency. A lot of making hummus is going by feel anyways, so don’t worry too much about exact amounts.
1. Cook frozen peas/edamame for 3-4 minutes in boiling water until tender. Drain and cool. (Can be done up to 3 days in advance.)
2. Place garlic, herbs, some edamame/peas and drizzle of olive oil/lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and blended, adding spices as mixture becomes incorporated.
3. Pulse remaining edamame/peas in a food processor in batches. Drizzle olive oil, lemon juice while pulsing to aid in the process. Mix with original mixture in a bowl and adjust for consistency/taste with olive oil as needed.
4. Season with salt/pepper. Blend pulsed ingredients thoroughly with a spoon.
5. Keep in refrigerator for up to 4 or 5 days.
I like to serve with homemade pita chips. (Toast cut up pita bread drizzled with olive oil, salt and red pepper in the oven at 350 degrees until crispy. No need to flip.)
White Bean & Artichoke Dip
adapted from a Fine Cooking recipe
1 15-1/2oz can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 14-1/2oz can artichoke hearts, drained & rinsed
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 tbs. fresh lemon juice
6 tbs. Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- Blend beans, artichoke hearts, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor. Add olive oil as needed to achieve a smooth consistency. (You can also use 1-2 tbs of water.)
- Stir in the cheese and rosemary and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with pita chips as mentioned above or crostini/baguette slices.
Both of these recipes also work well with endive as a serving suggestion.