Wow, it’s been a whirlwind of a week, with the launch of the Vanille Verte app, and all the excitement that ensued. I am still basking in the glow of the kindness that I have received from so many of you, and cannot even begin to express my gratitude for your enthusiasm, generous words, and votes of confidence. I am so thrilled that you are excited about the app, and find it useful, and beautiful, as well. I am humbled by such generous support. Thank you, thank you, so very much.
On to today’s recipe…
Artichokes are in full season right now. I adore them, so they have been making quasi-daily appearances at our table. They don’t need much to taste incredible: simply boiled or steamed for about 25 minutes, and then eaten on their own, with a little vinaigrette, but without too much fuss.
This artichoke dip is yet another way to take advantage of the season. It can be made with fresh artichoke hearts, but if (like me this week) you’re running late, and guests are just about to arrive, use a jar of hearts to make this flavorful in-season dip. With the addition of butter beans, the dip also becomes a good source of protein to stave off hunger before dinner is ready. Or it could even make a light summer meal if you’re not too hungry.
I like to add a little umeboshi plum vinegar to the mix, because it imparts wonderful flavor, and saltiness, as well. Umeboshi plum vinegar (or ume plum vinegar) is widely used in Japanese cooking, and comes from the liquid brine left over after plums have been pickled. It is dark red in color, and adds a hard to describe, but very interesting, sour and tangy taste to marinades, dips, or salad dressings. You can find umeboshi plum vinegar in most well stocked grocery stores, or online (such as here), just be cautious to choose brands that don’t add coloring to the vinegar.
Serve this dip with bread, crackers, or, my personal preference, loads of gorgeous, colorful in-season produce.
Love and health!
- 1 (15-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained (or 5-6 freshly cooked artichoke hearts)
- 1 cup cooked butter (lima) beans (about 1/2 15 oz BPA-free can)
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon capers
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1/2 juicy lemon)
- 4 peeled cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 1/2 teaspoons umeboshi plum vinegar (optional, but really adds depth - if not using, add about 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt instead)
- black pepper, to taste
- crackers, raw veggies, or fresh toasted bread, for serving
- Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Process until well incorporated, but still a little textured, about 30 seconds.
- Serve immediately, with choice of veggies, crackers, or bread.