Pea and Coriander Dip – a Mock Guac

No offence, but I want to hurry up and get this to you so I can GET OUTSIDE. Yesterday Scotland set a record for hottest March day on record, and today is poised to beat yesterday’s temperature of 22C. “Huh?” Well, believe you me, in Scotland 22C is a big deal. Even a big deal in the summer. Seriously, look it up.  It is so unusually warm, and suddenly so, that yesterday as Rachel and I strolled up into town, she remarked, “I can’t believe we are in the same country as yesterday”; ‘yesterday’ having attained  a high of 9C. That day I wore four layers on my upper body – inside. I’m not even counting the cosy ‘tv rug’ that I swathe myself in while watching, um, tv. I blame what I call my Florida blood.

So, after month upon month of layer wearing (and complaining of layer-wearing), I can now report that I am in cut-offs, T-shirt and bare feet. I’m not saying it’s a pretty sight or anything, but it sure feels fantastic to be so pared down; I must be at least 2 pounds lighter. Hurrah! And of course warm weather gives the boot to stews and suchlike, in favour of salads, light nibbles and barely cooked this and thats. So, if the weather plays ball, so will I, starting with this little nibble suggestion. 

The idea of a ‘mock guac’ is not new. Type this twee phrase into a search engine and you have the choice of thousands of links. But this is my humble stab at this quickly made dip. I was making it in various permutations before I even knew what search engines were, but I have refined it over the years to one I think is pretty darn good. I sometimes add tiny-dice ripest tomatoes, a thumbnail of chilli, or blend in spring onions, but I really like this stripped down version. So, you are getting a stripped down recipe from a semi-stripped down me. Now I’m going out into the garden before the mist rolls in…

Oh, before I grab the suncream and sun-guarding cardigan (my insurance against clouds, without which the temp will surely plummet), please look out for the next post as I will have another giveaway – from the fantastically named Rude Health. I love, love, love their organic breakfast cereals and wholegrain snacks (the real deal, not that  ‘with wholegrains’ flim-flammy nonsense) so I hope to introduce them to you, too.

Coriander and Pea Dip – Mock Guac

Rachel’s Cooking Track of the Week: Hold On, by Alabama Shakes – brilliant, energetic start-of-summer tune

Clotilde, the brains behind the fabulous Chocolate and Zucchini, has recently inspired me to add nut butter to my own recipe for what she nicknames, ‘peacamole’. Previously I have stuck with just a smidge of olive oil and lime juice to loosen the mixture (and flavour it obviously), but having made the switch from oil to butter, so to speak, I have to say it’s all the better for it. Although I tend to use pumpkin seed butter because I like its more pronounced savoury notes, the almond butter is really gorgeous and compliments the coriander extremely well. Try it with either and you won’t be disappointed. Oh, to make it a bit looser still, and to tone down its intensity, mix in a couple of tablespoons of Quark, ricotta or soft cheese, whatever suits. As the nickname implies, use it in place of the more fattening (but deeply nutritious if homemade) guacamole. Love the bright spring green!

250g baby peas/petit pois, frozen or fresh
2 handsful fresh coriander leaves and stalks
1 small clove garlic, peeled
2 tbsp almond butter or pumpkin seed butter (or olive oil)
Juice of 1 small lime
1 tsp chopped lime leaves (optional)
Sea salt, just a bit

Depending on what peas you use, either simmer for 2 minutes – until just done (from frozen), or steam until just done (fresh peas) – anywhere from four to eight minutes, depending on age and size. I would recommend frozen; Save fresh peas for eating in salads! Let the peas cool to room temperature.

Pop everything in a food processor and blend. If it is a bit too stiff to mix well, scrape down the sides and dribble in some water, or even vegetable stock, until loosened to your liking, bearing in mind that it will stiffen up a little once it has been refrigerated. Add in a couple of tablespoons of Quark, or similar, to make a milder tasting dip. Add in a drop or two of hot sauce if you like. I prefer it without add-ins and with just a little plate of crackers, or crunchy spring vegetables. The crackers pictured are Ryvita Multiseed Thins, but I really like them with Rude Health Multigrain Thins. Serves 4-6 as a snack. Keeps for 2-3 days.
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22 thoughts on “Pea and Coriander Dip – a Mock Guac

  1. Hi,

    I found your blog through googling macarons in Lidl. Just wanted to let you know they are on offer again this week.

    Patricia

  2. Love the gorgeous green color, and since I love peas and corriander {what I call cilantro}, this is a must make for sure. So glad you are having such lovely weather to enjoy :-)

    • Thanks EA. I can’t really ‘do’ chickpeas so while everyone else is hummusing-out I prefer something like this. Might make an interesting layer WITH hummus, mind you… with pretty French breakfast radishes for dipping.

  3. i love the colours of this dip! a perfect spring aperitizer! peas and coriander match so well, i love putting both in salads, blending them up is just as great. and pea soup, of course, is a definite winner too! i am crazy about green foods!

  4. Best photos yet! They are stunning. I’m sure they taste good too but these images are works of art!
    BTW my teenage son who ate the Rude Health muesli you kindly gave me said, ” diverse, satisfying & delicious” and more to the point it kept him going longer than his usual cereal (always a plus for a teenager who is constantly hungry) :)

    • Thank you so much Niki. The vibrant green was unenhanced so what you see is literally what you get. And so glad Master Toby rated the Rude Health ultimate muesli- it’s really top stuff. Make sure & enter the comp next time. The cute bamboo cereal bowls the hamper contains are really lovely.

  5. We’ve been having such a lovely and unseasonably warm spring here too! (I’m in upstate NY.) I’m glad you got to get out and enjoy it.

    This dip is gorgeous! That color alone is enough to entice me in, but I also love how healthy it is. I bet a little handful of fresh mint leaves would be another fantastic addition.

    • That sounds a great addition. I experiment a lot with herbs and have used mint, basil, rosemary, parsley and tarragon (not all at once though!) in some form or other in most of my dips. Mint sounds a perfect complement to the coriander – very southeast Asian. Will try it next time. Thanks Faith! Good weather still holding out here (unusually), hope the same for you in beautiful upstate NY.

    • Thanks Alyssa. Yeah, it’s an amazing, natural colour – no photoshop! Easy & tastes great. I can’t ‘do’ chickpeas so traditional hummus is off limits, so this is my favourite equivalent dip. Thanks for commenting. Love your blog :D

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