Tag Archives: dip

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Dip (Barefoot Contessa Lightened Up Just a Bit!)

24 Jan

Recently my editors at Edible Long Island asked what we contributors were doing to eat local in the middle of winter.

Hmmm. Embarrassingly, I am not doing enough. Except drinking Long Island wine and using up the home-grown tomatoes, and CSA peppers, garlic scapes, and berries I froze this past summer when the getting was good. I must do better next year!

This will make an impact at your next party

This will make an impact at your next party

But, I am reading about cooking local…my godson, Sean, who understands me better than most, got me Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook with a forward by Martha Stewart for Christmas. For those who don’t know, The Barefoot Contessa is a specialty food store in East Hampton, Long Island, owned by Ina Garten, a former White House nuclear policy analyst and now Emmy-winning Food Network host. She is very charming, very Hamptons, and that makes her very local to me! Bonus, Martha Stewart also has a home in East Hampton, which makes her local too, at least part of the year.

Anyhoo, I do like Ina Garten and her relaxed style. She’s forever cooking up special treats for her beloved husband, Jeffrey, who seems to enjoy it very much. And since Super Bowl is coming up and that means a lot of entertaining, I adapted one of her signature recipes from the book to what I had in my fridge to see what happened.

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The Green Goddess Helps Those Who Help Themselves (A Salad Dressing)

17 Jan

So Marianne and I continue preparing food that encourages healthy eating and healthy weight for the new year. I like to make one meal a day a salad; as crunchy and varied as possible. Unless my mom is home making the powdered Italian stuff in the cruet (which I freely admit I love), I generally make my own, simple vinaigrettes or tahini-based dressings, but clearly it is time to branch out.

Do pack the tablespoon with the herbs; it is very hard to get an accurate measure of this, isn't it?

Do pack the tablespoon with the herbs; it is very hard to get an accurate measure of this, isn’t it?

Marianne’s brother, Peter, is famous for his Green Goddess dressing (and his pecan pie, but that’s for another day when I get his recipe!) and although I’d never had it before (see dressing history, below) , I happened upon a Green Goddess recipe in Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook  (a personal favorite that Marianne’s boys gave me a few years ago, as it happens) and well…game on! Continue reading

Feta-ccompli: Feta-Walnut Spread

13 Feb

The whole Super Bowl thing has got me thinking about creative solutions for portable party food that doesn’t bore, travels well without dripping onto your car seat or collapsing en route and isn’t unwieldy if you take public transport. It should look nice – presentation counts for a lot. If you are not sure whether the crowd is primarily vegetarian, a meatless dish can be a very thoughtful additon to a party buffet. And of course, you want it to be simple and easy.

Enter Feta Walnut Spread. I made it in a few minutes with the help of my food processor, ably pulsed by my three year old (DISCLAIMER: My son is a good eater, but please don’t think he’ll eat everything I make or that you see on this blog. He refused to try this spread, even though he participated in the making and really likes feta cheese in other dishes. Can’t win ’em all ).

We took it to a Valentine’s playdate-party for my Single Moms By Choice group this weekend. I can’t say it won everyone over, but I liked it a whole lot with the vegetable sticks I cut up. I think next time I will pair it with toasted pita chips (they won’t compete as much with the flavor of the spread) and I think that the leftovers will make an excellent alternative to mayo on chicken or vegetable sandwiches.

The original inspiration comes from Molly Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook, which I had to buy again after my well-worn original fell prey to a hurricane-related flood in Puerto Rico years ago, and which I was delighted to find still had all the recipes written by hand.

Feta-Walnut Spread

1 Cup chopped walnuts

½ packed Cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

½ cup water

Three cloves garlic, peeled and chunked (less or none if you are not a garlic fan)

1 tsp lemon juice

(garnish – hot red pepper flakes, dried oregano, olive oil)

Pulse the walnuts and parsley in a food processor until blended. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the garnish) and puree until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and cover tightly. Place in fridge to chill. Before serving, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano and red pepper flakes. Serve with toasted pita chips or as a dip for crudité.

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