I mentioned in my lasagna post that I'd be talking about my Rawesome Nut Dip. Well, here it is! The recipe is in ed&bv, and it is an entirely 'raw' dip, made with raw nuts.
I use a combination of raw nuts, which I think contributes different flavor notes in the dip. There is sweetness from raw almonds and creamy delicate pistachios, some earthy, slightly bitter notes from walnuts, and a deep nutty flavor from the pine nuts. As I mention in the sidebar of this recipe, you can substitute nuts with similar taste characteristics. For example, cashews (which are creamy and sweet) can be used in place of the pistachios and/or some of the almonds. Note that in my recipe, I suggest 3 - 3 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice (fresh please!). The lemon juice gives acidity that cuts through the richness of the nuts. So, I typically use the 3 - 31/2tbsp measure. But... you can start with 2 1/2 tbsp, and taste test the final blending. If you want it 'zingier', add more lemon juice, a little at a time. If you like it, but it needs extra moistening, simply add another tbsp of water and blend in.
This nut dip also includes fresh herbs and the sweet, juiciness of red bell pepper. Even though the color of this dip is not exciting or maybe even entirely enticing, I assure you this recipe is delicious! I brought it to a small party at the end of summer last year, and the bowl was scraped clean - by vegan, vegetarians, and omnis alike!
I will now offend any raw foodists reading. Yes, this dip is outrageously good to eat with raw veggies/crackers, or to present as a raw meal (ex: rolled in lettuce leaves with veggies/avocado as a wrap). But, since it has an almost 'cheesy' taste and texture, it is also incredible served in non-raw ways (sorry! raw folks out there)... such as:
1. Spread on breads/pitas with fresh veg for scrumptious sandwiches!
2. Layered in lasagna (dollop on one or two layers).
3. As a pizza based instead of tomato sauce. Spread on a whole-wheat crust, then sprinkle on toppings of choice.
4. Baked potato topping. Either use raw, or mix with some of the potato flesh and re-bake for some super stuffed spuds!
5. Used as a filling for stuffing pastas like manicotti, giant shells, or ravioli.
6. Tossed into beans or dolloped onto cooked grains.
7. As a soup garnish, especially for a lighter soup like tomato. Serve with a scoop of this dip and croutons! (try "Polenta Croutons" from ed&bv).
Any other ideas? I'm sure you'll come up with some once you test out this recipe for yourself. Get to it! Go on.
Really. Go to your kitchen. No, I can't deliver it to you. I'd like to, but I do have other things to do. Yep, I'm busy enough.
Stop reading. Get cooking. I mean un-cooking. :)
(and enjoy eating, drinking & being vegan!)