OK everyone does a crudites platter- but I think the trick is to have a yummy dip instead of opening a bottle of ranch or blue cheese dressing. Homemade salad dressings and dips are so easy and fresh I almost never buy bottled. The additional plus side to that is I don’t get all of the additives and stabilizers that are necessary for the bottle to make it from manufacturer to store shelf to your pantry. Simple easy and fresh-win, win, win!
Creamy Herb Dip
- 1 cup of homemade or Hellman’s-Best Foods Mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup of buttermilk
- 1 small bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, washed, dried and stems removed
- 2 small sprigs fresh Oregano, washed dried and stems removed
- 2 small sprigs fresh French Tarragon, washed dried and stems removed
- 2 Tablespoons homemade or good quality Basil Pesto
- a couple of shakes of smoky Chipotle Tabasco sauce
- 1 small clove garlic minced with a little salt
- a few grinds of black pepper
Put all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse on and off until everything is blended well and all of the herbs are chopped into tiny bits and the dip is pale green. If you don’t have a food processor you can finely mince all of the herbs and then mix everything together in a bowl with a wooden spoon.
This is also good as a dressing just thin with additional buttermilk or a little regular milk can work too. Store for up to three days in your refrigerator.
Crudites are as simple as finding fresh veg you like and washing and cutting them up- I like a variety of color and texture. I usually blanch (dip a minute in boiling water and immediately plunge into an ice bath) anything tough- for things like snap peas it really improves the color and mouth feel.
Baked Sun-Dried Tomato and Cheese Dip
- 1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped (8 oz)
- 1/3 chopped and blotted dry oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 small shallot, finely minced
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- large pinch chili powder or cayenne
- 1 cup mayonnaise (again home made or Hellman’s/ Best foods)
- 4 cups shredded cheese- I use 2 cups Sharp Cheddar, 1 cup Provolone, 1 cup Mozzarella
Mix all together and put in a pretty, oven-safe baking dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes in a preheated 350F oven, until puffed and bubbly. Serve with crostini or crackers. For crostini make or buy a baguette, slice it in 1/4″ slices and brush with melted garlic butter. Bake in a single layer on a baking sheet for 15 minutes or so at 350F.
I hope you enjoy!
More next time….