As we reach the official start of Summer and temperatures soar, it is often the last time that we might want to turn on a stovetop or oven inside the house, let alone stand by the outdoor grill! So it is a perfect time to make these quick and delicious dips ahead of the hottest days that contain just a few simple ingredients. They work so well with fresh chopped vegetables that just happen to be in your Local Farm Box this week: Beets, carrots, garlic, chard or kale, and pick up some radishes, cauliflower, cucumber & kohlrabi to make a satisfying and healthy way to munch through the heat & humidity.
HERBED GOAT CHEESE SPREAD
Try this as a dip for carrots, celery & kohlrabi, but also great as a spread for crackers or especially a cucumber sandwich.
2 ounces Noble Springs plain Goat Cheese
8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
½ ounce fresh Thyme, minced
½ ounce fresh Oregano, minced
1 ounce Green Onions, minced
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Salt
In a large mixing bowl use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese until light & fluffy. Mix in the remaining ingredients and allow to infuse for at least 30 minutes before serving. If stored overnight, remove from cooler about 30 minutes to soften before serving.
ROASTED BEET & YOGHURT DIP
The flavors of beet, dill and yoghurt are an Eastern European specialty in the form of Borsht when served cold. Although any beet variety can be used, the Bull’s Blood red variety makes for spectacular color and flavor.
8 ounces Beetroot, about 3 medium or 1 cup grated
1 Cup Greek Yoghurt
2 Tablespoons minced fresh Dill
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 teaspoon Smoked Salt
Roast the beets in the oven until soft. (for instructions on this click here) Peel the beets and then grate them into a small bowl. In a separate mixing bowl combine the dill, yoghurt, honey and salt with a whisk before folding in the grated beets.
A classic sauce from Provence, this makes only about 2 ounces of sauce but it is very salty and strong so just a small amount will go a long way. Traditionally served with radishes as well as hard-boiled eggs and toast points. This will have a very strong anchovy flavor if left overnight!
2 ounces Anchovy fillets in oil
1 Garlic Clove, crushed with the side of a knife
1 ½ teaspoons Tarragon Vinegar
2 Tablespoons minced Fennel Fronds
Freshly ground Black Pepper
6 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Remove the anchovy from the oil and drain briefly on a paper towel. In a mortar & pestle combine the garlic, anchovy, vinegar, a few grinds of fresh pepper and fennel fronds and use the pestle to mash the ingredients together. Add the oil a teaspoon at a time until incorporated.
CAULI – SKORDALIA
A simple Greek dip made with just potatoes, garlic, lemon juice and oil, is re-imagined with cauliflower as the main ingredient which yields a lighter texture and significantly more flavor. Start with the 4 cloves of garlic, but if you love your garlic feel free to add several more cloves to your taste.
1 head Cauliflower, about 1½ – 2 pounds
4 large Garlic Cloves, minced
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese
1/3 Cup Blended Oil
1 teaspoon Salt
Remove leaves from cauliflower and cut out most of the stalk before cutting the head into large florets (do not be too fussy about getting even sizes). Place in a steamer and cook for 20 minutes – a knife inserted should easily pierce the thickest part of the stalk area. Allow to steam dry a few minutes off the bottom water-filled pot so that there is little moisture. Place in a 1 quart container and use an immersion blender to purée with cheese, garlic and salt. Once evenly combined, drizzle in the oil whilst puréeing to achieve a emulsified texture. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.