Friday, March 14, 2008

Rawesome Nut Dip

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!)


Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with today's blogg, but I saw you on you tube. You did the chocoloate chip cookies, and you didn't use any sugar. Are you willing to share that recipie? Thanks for your time

Dreena said...

Anonymous, there *is* sweetener in the cookie recipe, just not white sugar. I use a combo of maple syrup and also unrefined sugar. I have the recipe posted on my recipes page, you can find it here:

enjoy! (they're very nummy!)

shinyruby2 said...

dear dreena, eventhough I am in my 30's and even though I live far far away in Australia.. can you pretty pls come and cook for me?

teheee I love you and your blog!! x

Michelle said...

i hope to pick up the basil for this recipe today.. i think that's all i'm missing. is there a sub for basil, in case my crappy ass grocery store either doesn't have it, or it looks gross?

Dreena said...

shinyruby, hoo-ahh! I'm up for a trip to Australia!... hmmm, if I start a cookie business, make enough dough (har) to go to Australia... there, we have a plan! ;)

Michelle, you can get one of those little (and yes ridiculously priced) packages of basil, and use the leaves in one of those. May not make the full 1/2 cup measure, but will still give enough beautiful basil flavor. That being said, if you can't find any basil, you can omit it, or add a small amount of parsley or cilantro (if you dig cilantro). Not as much though - maybe just a coupla' tbsps. Don't go extra on the thyme to compensate - it's just such a strong herb, it can be overwhelming (then, you probably know that already). Also, you can make it without the basil too - will still be yummy! (come on summer... and basil... and berries... and warm sun)!

Billy said...

Wow, looks great. Thanks!

Judy said...

I have been eyeing this dip for a while now.... definitely going to try it soon!

Urban Vegan said...

I can't believe I haven't tried this one, since I'm always looking for dips and sandwich spread recipes to make for our weekday lunches. Yum!

The Veg Next Door said...

I made this today and loved it.

Wheeler said...

Oh this sounds fantastic. I'm not a raw foods only kind of person so I'll absolutely be trying it a few ways. Thanks for the ideas.

Dreena said...

vnd, glad you digged it!

Wheeler, I *really* need to try your ice creams. You do know how much I love ice cream, right?! You do if you've followed my blog for any length of time - it's my all-time fave sweet! I've heard so much about Wheeler's Black Label, and so will it be available in Canada anytime - soon? Perhaps I should send you an e-mail with an even more desperate tone, ha!

erica said...

Careful with Almonds coming out of california - they are all gassed with a nasty substance that is illegal for food use in Europe (even the ones labeled "organic" and "raw").

Dreena said...

hi Erica, yeah I know, that entire issue is horrendous. Where do you source your almonds, and do you have some check to ensure they are entirely raw and not pasteurized?

Michelle said...

so i made it! yum! ellia sat down and ate nearly half of it with a spoon, lol. i put some in a sandwich, and the rest in a small spinach and mushroom lasagna... great both ways!

Dreena said...

oh, great Michelle! I love how your kids gobble up just about everything you make!! They are so open to new foods - I need to test out recipes on YOUR kids, ha! :)