Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A fresh, healthy, tasty green dip - that isn't guacamole: Fake-amole for St. Patrick's Day!

With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, you'll be seeing a lot of green. Maybe you should add this one to your list. A pretty green dip that tastes fresh, earthy, and rich all at the same time. It looks like it might be guacamole, but it's not.

The funny thing is that it tastes just a little like guacamole - the slightly nutty flavor is similar, and the color is almost perfect. If you wanted to switch it up a bit with chopped cilantro, a bit of lime, and a few chopped jalapenos or some salsa, you might actually convince a few people, even though the texture is a more like hummus.

For St. Patrick's Day, guacamole might not fit the menu - but this is endlessly versatile.

This can be used as a spread (omit the water to keep it thicker) or as a dip (add water as needed to get the consistency you're looking for. It's great with crackers, raw vegetables, as a spread on sandwiches, or with pita or tortilla chips.

Meanwhile, this is loaded with vegetables, herbs and fiber. And it can be made well in advance, since the bright green won't fade or go brown - so you can make it well in advance for parties. Just keep it refrigerated until needed.

The Mazola® Corn Oil in this particular recipe provides the tiny bit of fat needed to help carry the flavor and add richness, and it doesn't add any assertive flavors - the rest of the ingredients really shine. While I like flavorful oils for some applications, sometimes the oil needs to step back a few paces and just be ... well, oil.

While preparing this recipe, I also learned that a recent research study found that corn oil helps lower cholesterol more than extra virgin olive oil. You can learn more about the study at Mazola.com.

Pea and Chickpea Dip, AKA Fake-amole

1 cup frozen peas
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
A few leaves fresh thyme (optional)
2 tablespoons Mazola Corn Oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1-2 tablespoons water (optional; as needed)

Combine all the ingredients in your food processor or blender. To be honest, I started with my blender, then moved to my food processor, since I wasn't getting quite the smooth result I was looking for - but blenders differ. Yours might do just fine.

Blend until the mixture is as smooth as possible, scraping down the sides of the container as needed. If you start with completely frozen peas, it might take a little longer to blend, but it's fine to use them frozen or thawed. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

If the mixture is too thick for your purposes, add water, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach the consistency you're looking for.

Serve with crackers, chips, or vegetables. Or use as a sandwich spread.

Visit Mazola.com for more information about the benefits of corn oil and for more recipe ideas. This post is sponsored by Mazola.