By Erin Walgamuth
Last Saturday night we were at our friend’s house for a dinner party. It was such a beautiful evening; warm, not hot, breezy, but not a gale force wind.
We sat outside by the pool for most of the evening watching the sun go down, dangling our feet in the water and sipping some amazing wine. You know; one of those evenings when you wish time would slow down so you could have a couple of extra hours in that glorious place where everything is just right.
My girlfriend Rena brought a dip that she made which had started out as one thing but ended up another – and it was good…don’t you love it when that happens? I asked her what was in it and if I could feature it as recipe of the week. She said, “Sure”, and told me the ingredients she had used.
I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but the end results were delicious and I am serving it tonight along with mini pita toasts. This recipe will also morph quite nicely into a pasta sauce which I will make over the weekend. I will let you know how it turns out on my blog.
Rena’s Basil and Spinach dip with Goat Cheese
Prep time 20 minutes
Makes 1 ½ cups
1 cup packed baby spinach leaves
1 cup packed basil leaves
¼ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup blanched, slivered almonds
2-3 garlic cloves, skins and stem ends removed
1 large shallot, skin and stem ends removed, coarsely chopped
1 large pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
½ cup goat cheese. I use Trader Joe’s Chevre, it comes in an 8oz package
Salt to taste
Put spinach, basil, olive oil, almonds, garlic, shallot, pepper flakes and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Quick pulse 30 times. Then hold pulse button to blend well. Use a plastic spatula to push down any ingredients that travel up the bowl. Add goat cheese and pulse 10 times. Then hold pulse button to blend well. Add salt to taste.
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If you are not going to serve immediately, put dip in a glass dish and place plastic wrap directly on top of dip. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap as well to prevent oxidation. Store dip in the refrigerator until ready to use.
I am going to serve the dip with mini pita toasts, but it is also delicious with shrimp or as a dip for crudités.
Erin Walgamuth has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe section.
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