A raw vegetable platter is my excuse for indulging in some creamy, zingy, quickly-made dips. Of course there are pitta chips, but mainly it is about – at least today – the freshest veggies I can get my greedy hands on.
I procured most of my produce from a local organic shop, but I am an absent-minded enough gardener to have only just spotted some over-wintered beetroots still hanging around in one of my raised beds. I don’t have a big garden so I’m not really sure how I managed to miss them all of these months. But I’m glad I did as I divided them between two recipes, the first of which I am posting today.
This simple recipe is a kind of two for one, with two simple dips outlined – and really just cleaned up and bright fresh crunchy vegetables of your choice to dunk. But don’t confine the dips to just vegetables and pitta chips: the chimichurri-style bean dip goes great with sauteed planks of tofu and roasted veggies (see below), as well as soft and baked falafels (recipe coming soon); the vegan black olive tapenade mayo is of course completely at home as a sandwich spread.
Although I love the smooth sophisticated taste and texture of the ebony-streaked aquafaba mayo, I recommend especially the chimichurri dip for those of you favouring flavours that smack you around the chops a bit. Subtle it ain’t. My change from the usual herbs, vinegar, oil and garlic concoction is to make the chimichurri with good sherry vinegar and to tone down the garlic. I know: I am toning down something. Alert the media!
Enjoy your week. xx
Spring Vegetable Dipping Platter
The spiky flavours of the chimichurri dip deserve several outings, so make enough (double) to go with things like falafel, over omelettes, on sauteed tofu and roasted veggies, and over pan-fried or baked white fish. It’s great stirred through grains too.
Chimichurri Bean Dip
13g (1/2 packed cup) coriander/cilantro leaves
25g (1 packed cup) parsley leaves (flat/Italian or curly)
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
1 fat clove garlic, peeled
55ml (1/4 cup) best sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
45ml (1/4 cup) best olive oil
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup mashed but not pureed white/light cooked beans of choice (I used borlotti)
Salt and pepper to taste
Put the herbs, garlic and vinegar in a small food processor bowl (e.g. a mini chopper) and pulse until mixed put not smooth – you still want texture. Pour the mixture into a jug and stir in the rest of the ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste. The bean dip will last for five days in the refrigerator.
Stir together/blend half a quantity of vegan aquafaba mayo OR 1/4 cup best quality prepared mayonnaise, with a squeeze of lemon + 2 heaped tsp black olive tapenade.
The Vegetable Platter – use any or all of the following
Carrots, sliced in long batons
Fresh asparagus spears, raw or lightly blanched
Crispy Gem or Romaine lettuce leaves
Fresh beetroot, peeled and sliced