Saturday, July 17, 2010


If there's one hors d'ouevre that never goes out of style, it has to be the crudité plate. A platter of fresh, seasonal vegetables accompanied by a delicious dip is pretty much always a crowd-pleaser, at least in my circles. In fact, I could make a whole meal of crudités, given ample opportunity and time.

The key to a great crudité platter is twofold: keep the veggies interesting, seasonal and colorful, and keep the dip interesting and fresh. Packaged dips or bottled dressings simply won't do here, and since making a delicious fresh version takes about ten minutes, why would you bother with the overpriced, over-processed variety? As far as veggies go, get creative. This time, I let the Greenmarket be my guide, and wound up with zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, radishes and grape tomatoes. A few weeks ago, it might have been fennel, radishes and snap peas.

I've spent years searching for the perfect dip, and I think I've finally found it. The recipe has been right under my nose all this time, lurking in my well-loved (but apparently not well-enough-thumbed) copy of The New Basics Cookbook. It's a twist on the classic Green Goddess dressing from the 1970s, here re-invented as a slightly chunky, herb-filled dip. I've made a few changes (subbing in yogurt for sour cream; using anchovy paste in the place of minced filets), but it's pretty true to the original, and will no doubt make your guests ask for the recipe. (It's happened to me each time I've served it, and I love it!)

Go forth and appetize, my friends.

Green Goddess Dip
Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook

3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about one lemon's worth)
2 tsp. anchovy paste (or 4 anchovy filets, finely minced)
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaft parsley
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tbs. thinly sliced scallions
2 tbs. finely chopped chives
2 tbs. finely chopped tarragon leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice and anchovy paste in a medium bowl, and mix well. Stir in the remaining ingredients and taste the dip. Adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dip for at least 3 hours to allow the flavors to blend.

Makes 2 cups of dip, enough for about 8-10 people.

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