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Thursday, January 21, 2016

vegan roasted cauliflower and garlic dip

over the weekend, we hopped in the car with my parents and took a drive to new jersey.  our family loves grocery stores, and we're willing to drive to investigate them.  family friends who live in new jersey had recently mentioned that we would enjoy corrado's market.  so, since we had nothing on our agendas for sunday, we headed to new jersey to check out corrado's and to stock up at trader joe's.  (side note: it's an absolute sin that we do not have a trader joe's closer to our house.  we're forced to either drive crazy long distances with a cooler in the car to stock up every few months, or we have to bring home only what we can carry when we make a trip into nyc.)  in the car we were joking about how we are all willing to drive such a long distance for a grocery store.  we are definitely a family of foodies.

luckily our hike to new jersery battling snow and crazy traffic was worth it because we loved corrado's.  their selection of produce was unreal and their prices couldn't be beat.  we were like kids in a candy store walking up and down the aisles.  while we were there, we bought a head of cauliflower, fresh parsley, and several heads of garlic (among many other things of course).  we also bought a bag of unsalted roasted sunflower seeds from trader joe's too.

i have had my eye on a cauliflower and garlic dip recipe for quite some time, and with these ingredients, i knew i had to make it this weekend.  the recipe was so easy and i was able to throw it together in no time on monday when we had the day off work.

this dip starts out in the oven.  you roast a whole head of cauliflower and an entire head of garlic.  roasted garlic is really something special.  garlic takes on a whole new flavor as it roasts in the oven and it becomes decadently sweet.

cauliflower is both healthy and hearty.  it makes the perfect base for this dip.  the combination of the roasted cauliflower, roasted garlic, and roasted sunflower seeds blends together perfectly and gives this dip a smokey flavor unlike anything else.  extra virgin olive oil smooths out the dip, fresh lemon juice brightens it up, and freshly ground nutmeg gives it a nice depth of flavor.

the consistency of this dip reminds me of a chunky hummus.  to jazz it up, we topped our dip with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, additional roasted sunflower seeds, and some fresh parsley.  it really took it over the top.  you can enjoy this dip with pita bread, crackers, chips, or veggies.

this dip is such a nice alternative to heavy, rich dips made with sour cream or mayo.  it is so light and bright.  it would be great as an appetizer, as a dip for a party, or as a late night snack.  let's be honest here . . . ryan and i sat in bed the other night with a bag of tortilla chips and this dip and went to town.

roasted cauliflower and garlic dip
prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 25 minutes
yields: approximately 2-3 cups
adapted from brooklyn supper

1 large head of cauliflower
1 head of garlic
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
salt and cayenne pepper to taste

preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  line two small baking sheets with aluminum foil.  cut the cauliflower into florets and break the head of garlic into cloves (leaving the papery skin on the garlic cloves).  arrange the cauliflower florets on one baking sheet and the garlic cloves on the other.  sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to evenly coat.  place both pans in the oven and roast for about 20-25 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and golden, and the garlic is fragrant, tossing occasionally to make sure it does not burn.  set aside to cool.

when cool enough to handle, squeeze the roasted garlic out of the papery skins.  in a food processor, combine the garlic, cauliflower, lemon juice, nutmeg, and sunflower seeds.  pulse to combine.  with the food processor running, drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil in until creamy.  add salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

serve topped with an additional drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, additional sunflower seeds, and minced parsley.  enjoy with pita, crackers, or veggies!

love, laurie


ma pa camlet said...

What a appetizing picture. I will definitely make this tonight with my cauliflower and garlic I bought. Thank you! We have been enjoying all week the eggplant, roasted peppers, and fresh mozzarella sandwiches for lunch.

Mom H. said...

It looks delicious and I love the photos. Very pretty!