Archive for the 'appetizers' Category

(Greek) Green Goddess Dip

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My mom is a great cook. I didn’t realize this as a kid, when her focus was on cooking healthy 80s-style meals for her three daughters and aerobics-doing and squash-playing husband. For the most part, my memory clings to the meals I dreaded, and those wondrous packaged foods (Oreos! Fruit Roll-Ups! Wonder Bread!) I wasn’t allowed to have.

Whether she evolved as a cook or my palate did, she turns out amazing dinner parties, but rarely emails with a recipe she insists I must have. My sisters and I all got an email after a meeting last week at which one attendee brought this ‘Greek goddess dip’, the dregs of which were retrieved from the bowl by finger once the veggies and pita chips were gone. “Trust me,” she said, “you want this recipe.” Although I’m already familiar with green goddess dip, I took her seriously.

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It turned out this wasn’t your usual Green Goddess, but Greek Goddess, so named for the inclusion of crumbled feta and fresh dill. I don’t make dip often, but it is the season of super-sweet carrots and a plethora of zucchini (the ones I planted at Mike’s mom’s house survived the hail! and are perfoming!) it seemed like a good thing to have sitting in the fridge for lunch at my desk. (And if you’re taking it to go, I like the idea of pouring a bit into a jar, then standing your veggies upright in it, ready to nibble.)

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Green Goddess Dip

Adapted from Melissa Clark of the New York Times, who calls it Greek Goddess Dip on account of the feta and dill.

1/2 cup packed fresh dill or watercress
1/2 cup packed fresh mint
1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup packed fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 green onions, chopped (or 1/4 cup chopped chives)
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
pinch salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise (optional)

Combine the dill, mint, parsley, basil, garlic, green onions, lemon juice and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Add the feta and process until smooth; pulse in yogurt. Taste and add more salt, if desired. If you like a creamier, richer dip, add the mayonnaise.

Serve immediately with veggies or pita chips, or refrigerate for up to 4-5 days. (The flavour improves with some time in the fridge.)

Makes about 2 cups.

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September 01 2015 | appetizers | 4 Comments »

Garden Pea Crostini with Mint

Spring Greens Crostini

A completely divine dinner at Corso 32 (worth the drive from Calgary – for real) including spring pea crostini with ricotta salata, roasted pine nuts & mint, reminded me of the time I made such a thing, and how easy it was. And it occurred to me that some of you might have access to garden peas, and so sharing this now would be timely. Add arugula, lemon and Parmesan and spoon it over garlicky toasts; if you like, spread them thinly with soft goat cheese first.


When I make crostini – I know there are hundreds of ways to make little toasts – I like them garlicky, but don’t like rubbing each slice with a cut clove. So instead, I peel and lightly crush a clove of garlic and drop it into a small ramekin of olive oil – the garlic infuses the oil, so that when you brush it on the crostini, it’s nice and garlicky. (You’ll then find yourself pouring the garlicky oil into pans to saute things in, and think of a ton of other uses for it.)

Garden Pea Crostini with Mint

Adapted from Gourmet, May 2009.

1 baguette
olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled

1 cup shelled fresh garden peas, fava beans or edamame
2 cup baby arugula
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (or to taste)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra as needed
zest and juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a small bunch of fresh mint leaves

Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice the baguette on a slight diagonal into 1/3-inch slices; place on a baking sheet. Pour the oil into a small ramekin and place the garlic clove in it. Use the oil to brush on both sides of the crostini, then bake for 10 minutes, or until pale golden.

Meanwhile, bring about an inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan and cook the fava beans or edamame for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain in a colander and run under water to stop them from cooking. If you’re using fava beans, peel off their tough outer skins.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the peas, arugula, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon zest and juice and garlic until well blended. If you’d like it smoother and looser, add more olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Spoon the arugula mixture onto the crostini and top with small leaves of (or finely chopped) fresh mint. Serve immediately. Serves 10 or more.

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August 25 2015 | appetizers | 4 Comments »

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