Friday, October 1, 2010
Bring about 1 qt. water to a boil in a medium pot. Add 1/2 lb. trimmed green beans and cook until tender to the bite, 3 to 6 minutes. Drain and immerse immediately in ice water until cool, about 2 minutes; drain again.
In a blender or food processor, combine 1 firm-ripe pitted and peeled avocado, 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt, 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 tbsp. loosely packed fresh mint leaves, 1 peeled garlic clove, and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt; whirl until very smooth.
Serve dip with green beans and 1/2 lb. jicama cut into 1/2-in.-thick sticks.
Makes: 1 cup
Time: 30 minutes
Garlicky White Bean Dip
In a food processor, whirl 1 or 2 peeled garlic cloves until finely chopped. Scrape down bowl and add 2 cans (15 oz. each) drained and rinsed white beans, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp. finely shredded fresh lemon zest, and 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice. Whirl until smooth.
Transfer dip to a small bowl. Stir in 1 tbsp. very finely chopped fresh oregano leaves, then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with assorted fresh vegetables or pita bread.
Makes: 2¼ cups
Time: 10 minutes
Rustic Grape Appetizer
Roast a 1-lb. bunch of grapes on a baking sheet in a 350° oven, turning occasionally, until caramelized, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve with a hunk of your favorite blue cheese.
Makes: 8 servings
Time: 45 minutes
Cut 6 strips thin-sliced bacon crosswise into 4-in. lengths. Wrap each of 18 pitted Medjool dates snugly with a piece of bacon, overlapping ends.
Set dates, seam sides down, in a 10- to 12-in. nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Turn dates occasionally until bacon is browned and crisp on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes total.
Drain on paper towels and serve warm or cool.
Time: 25 minutes via